The Squeaks Saga a/k/a The Snake Story

This is the first half of the Saga of Squeaker, which is one of the more popular of my stories. It doesn’t really count as a LawDog File, because it occurred a couple of decades before my law enforcement career, but people don’t seem to mind.


Many, MANY moons ago (don’t even ask, ’cause I won’t tell you) when I was still a pup, the family lived in Nigeria. We had a bungalow at the Odibo Estates, out near the Biafran border. Every evening peddlers (called ‘traders’) used to walk up and down the main road, offering to sell or trade various knick-knacks and merchandise.

Ali Cheap-Cheap was one of the busier traders, and he spent a lot of time on our front porch haggling with Mom. Now, Ali Cheap-Cheap was very proud of his ability to get just about anything you might want or need.

One evening, Mom was visiting on the front porch with the visiting wife of one of the English engineers. Said wife had never been outside of London before, and as a consequence, loathed Africa. She and Mom are chattering and griping when along comes Ali Cheap-Cheap. Old Ali Cheap-Cheap doesn’t have anything Mom or the English lady want, so, before he wanders off, he asks if, “Madams want for anything?”

English lady gets a funny look in her eye, taps her snake hide purse and says, “I want one of these.” “Yes, madam,” replies Ali, and off he wanders.

‘Bout three weeks later, Mom and the English twit are on the front porch, and along comes Ali Cheap-Cheap. With a friend. Ali and friend have a cane pole slung over their shoulders with a burlap bag hanging from said pole.

Now, on the front porch, we had a Mongoose-a-minium in which lived our pet kusimanse (Pygmy mongoose). This Mongoose-a-minium had a PlexiGlass ceiling which Dad had assured us was unbreakable.


Up to the porch comes Ali Cheap-Cheap and his buddy.

Mom is eyeing the burlap bag with some trepidation, having had some nasty experiences with what the locals tended to store in burlap bags, when Ali and buddy proudly lift the burlap bag and announce, “Oh, madam! We have your beef!”

I should interject here, that “Beef” is bush slang for any animal.

Wait for it.

Mom has risen to her full height, and is about to order Ali to get his beef away from her house, when Squeaker (the Pygmy mongoose) wanders out of his apartment, and screams in sheer rage. (It was always amazing how much sheer volume that little hairball could put out) Ali and buddy are startled by the shriek and drop the burlap bag onto the Plexiglass roof of Squeaker’s residence.

The ‘unbreakable’ Plexi shattered and dropped the burlap bag into the Mongoose-a-minium. Inside said burlap is one 15 foot, rather scared python.

Squeaker, who was about the size and girth of a tennis ball, offers up a brief prayer to the Mongoose God for the meal he is about to partake of, and latches onto the snakes tail, with tooth and claw.

The snake has discovered that he has been dumped into a place which reeks of mongoose, panics and pours himself up the side of the Mongoose-a-minium and down to the porch–with Squeaker not only still firmly attached to his tail, but bracing all four legs to prevent his meal from getting away. I should probably mention that the snake was approximately fifteen feet long.

Squeaker didn’t even slow him down.

The snake hit the porch floor with Squeaks gnawing away at his tail like a chipmunk on speed, and notices that the sliding glass door in the front of our house is open about six inches (for ventilation).

Yep. You guessed it: in goes the snake.

Now, Dad and one of his Brit buddies were sitting in the house, drinking whiskey-and-sodas. Brit buddy looks down and sees several yards of snake whip by, shrieks, and makes a flat-footed, sitting-down leap from the sofa to the top of the bar. Whereupon, he begins to utter genteel curses at the top of his lungs.

Dad looks down, lifts his feet, insures that his drink doesn’t tip over, and watches the snake haul scales with bemused interest. (Dad didn’t ruffle easily)

In one corner of the living room was The Chest. The Chest was a great huge hand-carved teak box, that weighed approximately the same as an early 60’s Buick. Guess where the snake went?

Yep, slithered under that chest slicker than grease (knocking Squeaks off in the process), wrapped about 13+ feet of coils around the solid teak legs of The Chest, tucked his head back into the darkness and muttered nasty things.

Mom sails into the house at full speed, Ali Cheap-Cheap and buddy hot on her heels.

Mom (as she scooped up Squeaks): “Where is it?”

Dad: “Hmm?”

Brit Buddy: “Under the bloody chest!”

Ali Cheap-Cheap: “Dis beef, 30 Niara!”

Mom: “Get it the hell out of my house! 30 Niara? I don’t want the damn thing!”

Dad: “It’ll probably leave on it’s own after things calm down…”

Brit: “Good God, the thing is bloody huge!”

Ali: “Oh, madam, you take the food from my children’s mouths! 25 Niara!”

Brit: “25 Niara for a snake?! Are you daft?!”

Mom: “OUT! I don’t want the damn snake!”

Brit: “I should say not. Must be charging by the pound.”

Ali (tearing at clothes): “20 Niara! Not a kobo less! You are evil woman!”

Snake: “Hiiiiiiiisssssssss!”

Squeaks (translation): “As God is my witness, I’ll never go hungry again!”

Mom: “Get. That. Thing. Out. Of. My. HOUSE! Ali! Get out of my house!”

Ali (much offended): “Madam, you have my beef. You give 20 Niara.”

Dad: “Thief man, this beef 10 Niara–no more.”

Ali: “Ah! Boss! Is good juju–make you strong like bull! 15 Niara!”

Brit (still on top of the bar): “I say, do you really think so?”

Dad: “Well, Tom, if you’ve got 12 Niara, you can find out.”

Mom (dreadfully quiet): “Why is that thing still in my house?”

Ali: “13 Niara!”

To be continued …


Squeaks, part deux

This is the second half of what has become known as “The Snake Story”. It took almost two years for me to write this after writing the first half, mostly because Mom threatened to cut me off at the knees if I wrote it.

I had to bow to public pressure, though.


When last we left, Mom was sitting in a chair with an enraged African Pygmy Mongoose in her lap, Tom was standing on the wet bar, Ali Cheap-Cheap was trying to get someone to pay him for 15 feet of perturbed python lurking under the furniture and Dad was…well, contemplating.


Does anybody know how big a fifteen-foot python is?

I can hear the chorus now: “It’s fifteen feet!” Yes, but do you realize how big around a fifteen-foot python is? It’s bloody huge.

My brother and I had been attracted by the up-roar and, as boy-children will, immediately converged on the snakey parts sticking out from under the Chest.

Dad murmured, “Watch the sharp end, boys” as he pushed the chest out from against the wall, then knelt down and peered under it from the back side. Upon seeing something, Dad promptly slid his arm under the chest and began to feel around.

Squeaks, fed up with the wait-service, banzai-ed off Mom’s lap, hit the floor and in one bounce shot under the chest, shrieking a tremendous mongoose war-cry as he disappeared: “Hah! Feel my wrath! Here is your doom! Prepare to be devoured!”

One of Dad’s eyebrows kind of slid up, and he pulled his right arm out from under the Chest, revealing Squeaks clinging to it with all four sets of claws whilst delivering the dreaded Mongoose Death Bite(tm) to the back of Dad’s wrist.

“Honey,” said Dad, mildly, “Your rat isn’t helping all that much.”

“Are you sure you need the boys help?” inquired Mom, as she sat back in the chair, with Squeaks firmly anchored to her lap.

“Hmm?” mumbled Dad’s voice from behind the Chest.

“Too right, Jim, old boy, I mean, that is a predator after all,” chimed in Tom, helpfully.

The head of the python appeared over the top of the Chest, with one of Dad’s hands clamped around its neck, “I’ve got the pointy end. Boys, see if you can find a tail on this thing.”

Chris and I began to root about happily under the chest, and with the aid of a couple of Dad’s walking stick collection, we pried the south end of the snake out from under the Chest.

“Dad, we found…oh, yuck.”

Now, the Discovery Channel will tell you that, when disturbed, some species of snake will: “Secrete a noxious substance from their tails.”

They lie.

Folks, I’m here to tell you that if a snake “secretes” that noxious substance, then a firehose “secretes” water. Got a hell of a range on it. Enough range, as a matter of fact, to reach out and paint a mother from her eyebrows down to the mongoose retching in her lap.

And her with waist-length hair.

“Eep,” said Chris, rather eloquently I thought, as Mom slowly scraped black/green grease off her face with one taloned hand.

“Bad luck,” murmured Tom.

Dad popped up like a prairie dog. “What?”

“Dad, it, uh, sprayed…”

“Did any of it get on you?”

“Ah, hmm. On us? No, but, umm…”

“Good, good. Don’t let the hind end get back under the Chest. Ali, come here.”

Ali Cheap-Cheap, who had been watching all of this with intense fascination, jumped and pointed to his torso, “Boss?”

“Yes, you,” One of Dad’s hands reached out and got Ali by the front of his dashiki and pulled him behind the Chest. “Hold this. When I tell you, I want you to drag this end towards the door. Boys, when I lift the Chest, drag the tail out from under, okay?”

“Uh, Boss?”

Dad got his fingers under the edge of the chest, puffed a couple of times, and then lifted what I swear to God was half-a-ton of hand-carved teak wood.

“All right, pull.”

“Boss, you say ‘pull’, nah beef, he say ‘no’.”

“Pull the snake, Ali.”


“Bush man, I swear, if you don’t…”

About this time, Mom levitated some three feet off her chair and, a bit like a Roman candle, exploded in a flaming mass of eyes, hair, grease and claws: “Pull the [deleted] snake …”

…Ali took off like he’d been goosed with a cattle prod…

“…you [deleted] son of a [deleted]-[deleted] …”

…Tom’s eyebrows crawled up into his hairline as he regarded my rampaging mother…

“… [deleted] mother of a [deleted] goat…”

…Ali got to the end of the snake with approximately the same results as a running dog hitting the end of his chain, but he moved the snake about three feet…

“… [deleted] snake [deleted] IN MY HAIR!”

Dad vaulted the Chest, grabbed the python in the middle and heaved him onto the front porch, where he bounced twice and skidded into the yard.

Watching the snake haul scales in the general direction of Port Harcourt, Dad sniffed reflectively, dusted off his hands, turned around and the first thing he saw was Mom.

“Honey,” said Dad, somewhat bemusedly, “Why are you covered in grease?”

Mom glared at Dad, whipped around, and with Squeaks still firmly clenched in her hand stomped into the back of the house, muttering explosively and gesturing wildly. Crashing sounds drifted back.

“Redheads,” opined the worldly-wise Tom.

Ali was practically dancing in rage, “Boss! Dis beef, fifty Niara!”

“Ali,” murmured Dad, as he poured two glasses of Mr. Daniels finest, “You have gold?”

“Ah, Boss! I have gold necklace. A necklace such as only a princess could wear!”

“Seventy Niara.”

“Oh, Boss! Seventy Niara is taking…”

“Trader man,” Dad contemplated the bourbon, “Madame has gone for to fetch her machete.”

“A blessing on your house, Boss.” Ali traded the necklace for the money, bowed once and hot-footed it out the door.

Dad gathered up the necklace and both glasses of bourbon, and began wandering in the direction of the destructive noises emanating from the back of the house, “Bye, Tom. See you at the office tomorrow. Boys, go play. Stay away from anything with an appetite.”


The tragic death of Santa Claus

I don’t think I posted this one at the Rysher site until about a year after I started doing stories. Up until this story, I had carefully stayed away from mentioning violence in my stories, because I don’t think violence and amusement really go together well. And the sole purpose of my little tales is to amuse people.

Anyhoo, I posted this one, and to my utter surprise it wound up being a favorite.

When I drifted over to TFL, I edited this story to remove the first paragraph, but the story didn’t flow as well, so I wound up putting the first paragraph back in. It still seems to be a favorite, so I guess I did it all right.



In late 1995, a critter in our town twisted off and hit his ladyfriend in the head a couple of times with an axe. Not one to leave a job half-done, he dragged her out to the lake, wired her up to a cinderblock and shoved her off into the water.

Wonder of wonders, she survived. Even bigger wonder, she came into town and filed charges on her boyfriend.

I had been out on a date, and wandered back into town about the time that the search was really getting wound up. First thing in the door of the office and the Sheriff hits me with three conflicting orders on where to go (one of those places would require asbestos underoos). Anyhoo, I’m trying to find my spare set of armour and a call comes in: one of our local merchants has spotted the critter climbing in a back window of an abandoned building used for storage.

The Sheriff grabs me and a luckless Highway Patrol Trooper who had come in for a coffee refill and off we go.

The other two deputies were hell-and-gone on the other side of the county, so it was just the three of us.

For those of you who don’t know how to search a large building with only three people, it’s really quite simple: two officers place themselves on opposite outside corners of the building so that they can see all four sides (to catch the critter trying to escape) and one officer goes inside.

Three guesses who got to go inside, and the first two don’t count.

Yep. Let me tell you, that place was darker than the Earl of Hells waistcoat and stacked floor-to-ceiling with shelves. On those shelves was the collected knick-knacks of 20 years of Main Street stores. And not a lightbulb anywhere.

There I was, with a snubbie .357, a five-cell Maglight and a Handi-Talkie, and me only having two hands. About the fourth time I tried to answer the Sheriff’s: “Have you got him yet!?” while trying to cover a suspicious patch of darkness and juggle the Mag-Lite, I stopped in the feeble light of the moon shining down through a hole in the ceiling.

I’m busily trying to figure out which I needed more: the Mag-lite or the Handi-talkie, when the SOB jumps me. I’m here to tell you, folks, things went rodeo from there. He lunged out of a shadow, trying to grab for my throat, and me–reacting totally instinctively–I whack him a good one across the forehead with the Maglight.

Bulb, batteries and assorted electronic parts arc gracefully into the darkness. Critter takes one step back and jumps at me again.

Things are not looking good in Dogville.

I’ve got the snubbie back with my right hand, trying to keep it away from this goblin, and I’m trying to stiff-arm him away with my left when I step onto what was later found to be a D-cell battery from my Maglight.

Down I go. And the alleged axe-murderer lands on top of me. Hoo boy.The gloves really come off then. We roll on the cold cement, I’m hitting him in the head with the butt of my revolver, elbow smashes to the jaw and brachial plexus, knee strikes–the whole enchilada. And he keeps grabbing at my throat.

Finally, we roll into a patch of moonlight–and the bastard has a knife!

Folks, I hate knives. No, I really hate knives. He’s on top of me, and he has to weigh three-hundred pounds, and that damn knife is coming down in slow motion……about the same time that the barrel of my snubbie rams up under his chin and I squeeze off two rounds.

Blowing the electronic brains and assorted stuffing of the Animatronic Life-Like Talking Santa Claus belonging to the local Thriftway halfway to Dodge City.

You don’t want to know what a couple of .357 rounds will do to hydraulics.


There I was. Staring at the robotic Kris Kringle whom I had assaulted, aggravated assaulted and finally brutally murdered, when the Sheriff and the trooper come crashing through the place looking for me.

The Sheriff looked at me and the fallen Jolly Elf and then began to stare fixedly at the ceiling, while tugging his moustache.

Gary (the trooper), holsters his SIG, gets out his pipe, looks around the crime scene, picks up a piece of flaming hat trim and uses it to light his pipe.

Gary: (puffing pipe into life) “Obviously an assault candy cane. Bet it ain’t registered.”

Sheriff: “Dangerous things, assault canes.”

Gary: “Obviously, a good shoot.” Puff, puff.

Sheriff: “Don’t worry boy. I’ll call the Marshals first thing in the morning.

Me: “Duh, puff-pant, huh?”

Sheriff: “Boy, there’s gonna be several million kids after your hide come Christmas. Witness Protection Program is your only chance.”

Smart ass. That was the only time I have ever used the Universal Peace Gesture to my fellow LEOs.

And the critter was caught in New Mexico an hour later.



Perkiness has its place

I wound up going to see the doctor this afternoon. Turns out that Mother Nature gifted me with full-blown bronchitis for my birthday.


Doc wished me, “Happy Birthday” then drove the dagger home by commenting that given my age, instead of just giving me some pills; she was going to give me some pills AND a shot.

Folks, if your medical professional attempts to approach you with a syringe full of something called “Rochephrin” — shoot them. Immediately.

It was a very large needle. This is because the gelatin-like medicine inside had been mixed with a like amount of novocaine. When asked, the nurse perkily replied that the novocaine was necessary because the injection would hurt too bad without it.

This is what us carefully-trained law enforcement investigative types call, “A Clue”.

And, of course, due to the mass amount of … stuff … inside the needle, the injection site will not, I say again, will not, be in your arm.

A side note? Perkiness has it’s place. That place is not when I’m bent over an exam table with my jeans and unmentionables around my knees.

And the phrase “Okay, big burn” should never, NEVER, be uttered in a perky tone of voice.

Birthdays are really starting to suck.


The one that started them all.

This is the original LawDog File. I wrote it in the late ’90’s on the now-defunct Rysher forums to cheer up a friend on that forum.

After Rysher went Paws Up, I moved on to Rich Lucibella’s The Firing Line. TFL was accused of having no sense of humor, so I posted this story. Seemed to work okay.


In late 1994, we had a Lady who developed a stalker problem. We busted the stalker, and got a Protective Order for the Lady. It worked for a couple of days, then she reported that the critter was sneaking into her garage and moving stuff around.

The Sheriff went ballistic and decided that we’d ambush the critter and send him off for a long time. Guess who got volunteered for the ambusher duty?


Now, this Lady lived at the top of hill just outside the Southwest city limit, in a big old two-story house with an apricot orchard out back, and shrubbery everywhere.

I show up that evening, check in with the Lady and set up an ambush. The driveway led from the road up to the garage and was bordered on both sides by a pyracantha hedge.

I settled down under a tree, and lined up on a gap in the hedge near the house. My plan was to wait until the critter was well up to the house, before dashing through the hedge and arresting him.I’m bellied down under the tree and I wait. And wait. And wait.

Along about 1AM, an armadillo wanders up from the orchard behind the house where he’s been feeding on fermenting apricots all night, and bounces off my foot.

I hear the question now: How did I know it was a ‘he’ armadillo? Simple kids. The drunken little sod promptly, and aggressively, fell in love with my left boot.


He’d sidle up to my boot, murmuring, “What’s your sign, baby?” in armadillo-ese, and I’d shove him away, whereupon he’d sleeze back in, crooning armadillo love songs.

And so the evening went. I’d kick him across the lawn, and he’d hiccup and oil his way back. About two hours later, I have had it. I’m just about to stand up and drop kick the Armoured Menace into the next State, when I hear the crunch of tippy-toed feet coming up the gravel driveway.I freeze, locking in on that gap in the hedge (the armadillo took the opportunity to sneak in a grope. Chauvinistic bastard), and I see a shadow move in front of the gap. I take off like a shot–to find out that some commie pinko liberal moved the gap in the hedge.

I also found out that ‘Pyracantha’ is a Latin word that means, “Deadly Demon Vampire Bush from Hell.” I don’t know who screamed louder: the armadillo, when his lady love disappeared; the critter, when I snagged a good handful of his shirt; or me, when I crashed into a brisket-high wall of thorns.

The Lady of the house hears the triplicate scream, decides that the unthinkable has happened, dials 911 and screams, “That Deputy is getting killed!”


Meanwhile, I’m half bent over the thornbush, trying to hold on to a panicked critter with my right hand, and a walkie-talkie with my left hand. We struggle, and I end up halfway over the hedge, upside down, and I look down the road and all I see are lights. Red lights, blue lights, yellow lights, white lights, flashing lights, strobe lights, wig-wags–you name it. All coming up this road.

About that time, the critter twists loose and hot-foots it down the road leaving me with a shirt.

I get on the walkie-talkie, wait for a pause in the traffic from the SO, DPS, EMS, and game warden all demanding to know what has happened to me, and say, “I’m all right. Subject is a white male, no shirt, Northbound on foot.”

I suppose, in retrospect, I may have sounded a little … emotional … on the radio.
Apparently the Deputies, firemen, EMT’s, park rangers, security guards, DPS troopers and LEO’s from all eight surrounding counties and towns heard my voice and thought: the ‘Dog sounds panicked. The ‘Dog don’t ever panic. Therfore the ‘Dog has obviously been shot/stabbed/gutted/burned/run over/abused/whathaveyou and is, no doubt, in immediate danger of expiring.


Anyone who wasn’t coming before, is now. The critter is spotted halfway down the road and becomes the subject of a multi-jurisdictional pigpile.

There I am, upside down and helpless in the grip of this fiendish hedge. And what do my friends, my brothers, my comrades-in-arms do, my drinking buddies do to help me in my time of need?”Hey! Who’s got a video camera?! We have GOT to get video of this!”Took them thirty minutes to get me loose from that plant. I never did see that armadillo again. Good thing, too.