Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees

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Colin was homeless—a fact known by all the people living in his small town. He was a big guy, he was at least a head taller most of the townspeople so he really stood out in more ways than one.

One day he was wandering along an abandoned path looking for berries when he stumbled upon a beautiful, strange-looking tree. It was taller than Colin but its branches were low enough that he could climb them. The flowers looked interesting, so he climbed on up, praying that they were edible.

What he found growing on the tree was an amazing surprise—it was money! Not just dollar bills, either, but $50 bills and $20 bills. Colin couldn’t believe his luck. He pulled a couple of bills down and ran back to town, vowing never to tell another soul where the tree was located.

The first thing Colin tried to do was buy a meal, but the waiter turned him away the moment he walked inside.

“Shoo, shoo. Get out,” the restaurant owner yelled from his back office.

So Colin left. He went to the tailor to see if he could purchase a new suit, in the hopes that a new look would fix his appearance and he’d be allowed to buy some food.

But, once again, Colin was told to leave the store—and this time he was accused of stealing the money! The tailor threatened to call the cops if Colin ever set foot in the shop again.

So he left. He decided to go to the local grocery and buy a load of bread. Whenever Colin had money, he spent in on bread at the local grocery, so he had high hopes for his visit.

Yet again, Colin was turned away. He tried to tell the shop owner about the money tried while he begged for food, but it didn’t work.

The shop owner scoffed and said, “Money doesn’t grow on trees, Colin. I know that, you know that, everyone knows that. Get out of my store with that fake money.”

So Colin left, devastated, and headed back down the abandoned path to the money tree. He sat against the trunk of the tree, crying quietly about the state of his reputation.

How could they think I was lying? Or, worse yet, that I was a thief! he thought.

He slumped down further against the magical tree and ate the only thing he could find for food—the money flowers.

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Curiosity Killed the Cat

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The cat was dead. There was no question about that. I felt his little chest for any signs of life—nothing.

Only one question remained: who killed the cat?

Could it have been Elise, the cat’s owner? She’d been complaining about him for a while now—the cat was too dumb, the cat was mean, the cat had a habit of shredding the drapes when he was left home alone. Had Elise finally gotten fed up with the cat and killed it in a moment of rage? No, he was all Elise had—kill the cat and she would find herself alone again.

Could it have been Caitlin, the cat-sitter? She never really liked the cat in the first place, and she had every opportunity to sneak a little poison into his food jar when she was housesitting for Elise… But without the cat, she wouldn’t have made any money, and Caitlin was two-months behind on her rent. It just didn’t add up.

Could it have been a stranger, some kind of cat killer who committed his crimes in the cover of the night? Ah, but what motive would this cat killer have had? The cat never went outside—it was unlikely anyone even knew he existed, let alone had enough anger towards him to commit a murder.

I’d explored all the options and I had absolutely no idea what to say. In front of me stood Elise, Caitlin, and my Pet Crimes Partner, Lou. I was supposed to be the prodigy, the Pet Crimes Whisperer, but here I was—clueless.

“One thing is for sure,” I started, unsure of where the thought would take me. “Curiosity killed this cat.”