Officer Porky Pig hung up the phone and sighed. Somedays he hated being a cop. Someone was always doing something crazy and he had to pick up the pieces. Arresting people required a ton of paperwork and his hooves were clumsy when typing was required. Maybe the caller was a prankster and there was no crime but he still had to roll out. At least having Mister Ed pull the hay wagon would give him someone intelligent to talk to. His last partner Daffy Duck had been just that and his lisp made him hard to understand.
When they reached the address that he’d been given, a rusted mailbox sat atop a weathered post leaning over so far that Porky wondered how Yogi Bear the mailman could deliver to it. A small opening in the trees was the access point for whatever lie behind them. Mister Ed said he’d wait there while Porky explored further because something smelled rotten and he’d get queasy if there was a dead body. The twisty lane led to a ramshackle house that looked deserted and a barn that seemed to be the source of the odor permeating the air.
An investigation of the house revealed that it was inhabited but no one was home. Shabby furniture and worn out rugs made a statement about the occupant’s financial status. Sighing, he pulled his handkerchief out of his pocket and tied it around his snout. Anything that would make a pig want to vomit had to be terrible. Pulling the handle on the barn door produced a screech from unoiled hinges that made his skin crawl. He could leave and say there was nothing to see, but Chief of Police, Elmer Fudd might send Deputy Dawg to make sure and he’d be demoted. As the door swung open, a wave of stench rolled over him like waves breaking on the beach. His first step into the gloomy interior produced a crunch and he felt something squish under his hoof. He turned on his flashlight to see what it was. Bugs were everywhere. Not only on the floor, but they were also crawling the walls.
The barn was huge and he hated crunching his way deeper but he heard what sounded like someone crying and couldn’t ignore the plaintive wail. When he walked past a huge pile of hay, he could see the source of the horrible smell. Cinderella sat on a stool in the corner, and the remains of a huge pumpkin on wheels that had cracked open was covered with bugs dining on its rotting interior.
“What happened?” Porky asked.
Cinderella sniffed, wiped a tear from her eye and said, “the Big Bad Wolf and Yosemite Sam robbed me of my glass slipper, then held me hostage when I was on my way home from the ball. It made me late and my carriage turned back into a pumpkin. It was dark, late, and raining when I got away from them, then the mice and toads ran away, leaving me stranded.”
“Why didn’t you walk home when the rain stopped? And how’d the pumpkin break open? How long have you been here?”
Cinderella held out a badly bruised and swollen foot. “For some dumb reason I was pushing the pumpkin inside. Why I wanted to protect it escapes me at the moment but just inside the door, I tripped over a bucket, sprained my ankle, then fell onto the pumpkin. It cracked and I almost drowned in the pulp before I could pull myself out. I can’t put any weight on my foot so I’ve been here for two weeks.”
Porky whipped out his Acme walkie talkie and told Mister Ed to bring the wagon. Once they had Cinderella comfortable in the hay, they rolled out toward the Fred Flintstone county hospital. Just as they reached the head of the twisty lane an old jalopy pulled up and waited for them to get out of the way. Porky thought the driver looked a lot like one of the Beverly Hillbillies but being in the midst of a medical emergency, didn’t have time to ask for an autograph. He’d heard they fell on hard times after some bad investments. He still didn’t know who the mysterious voice on the phone was who said he should check out the scene for possible monkey business but was glad nothing was amiss other than a smashed pumpkin and a bug infestation. When his wife Petunia got back from touring Sunnybrook Farm, they could visit the ramshackle house together and maybe get a picture taken with Jed and Granny.