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“You’d better come with us.” Pudgy turned and led the group back to the garden once again to discuss the new information. “I want Leo to hear it first hand.”
The small group of mice and not-quite-mice huddled outside the garden gate while waiting for Leo to come out.
“Back again?” he asked through a mouthful of green beans. “Oh, hey Chipper.”
“Wait,” said Pipsqueak. “You know each other?”
“Sure.” Leo picked at his teeth. “We’ve met a time or two.”
“Of course you have,” Pudgy grumbled. “Chipper and his horde have information on the strawberry thief. They’ll share it with us if we let them in on our deal and share the garden.”
Leo looked shrewdly at Chipper. “You’ve got more brains than I gave you credit for Chipper.”
“Enough!” Pudgy stomped his feet. “Let’s get on with it.”
“Well, what do you know?” Leo asked when Chipper was silent but for the twitch of a whisker.
“Not until you let us in on this deal,” said Chipper with nod at the garden. “How do we get in there without getting trapped?”
“Tell us what you know first, then we’ll tell you the secret,” said Pipsqueak.
Chipper looked from Leo to Pudgy to Pipsqueak. Gomer was chasing his tail. Again.
“Fine,” he said. “We were sniffing around the house, trying to find a way into the garage when we heard an odd sort of jingling sound. We scurried around the corner but all we saw was a shadow. A large shadow.”
The Three Tails and the chipmunks shared a frustrated look. This “new information” was not very helpful and here they’d agreed to share the secret of the garden. For one second, Pudgy considered not telling them how to get in, but his honor would not allow him to go back on his word.
With a loud sigh, he shared the secret with their new allies and trudged back to the garage with Pipsqueak and Gomer.