“OK, I want to know who jumped on the counter and tossed the big wooden spoon down on the floor after licking it. I also want to know who threw down the salt, pepper, and Italian seasonings. It’s either the Juvenile Delinquent or the Mafioso. Reveal yourself! Don’t run away, I know this is all your doing!”


“Got her beat, JD. Hurray for that dog door. Every time she gets pissed we just run out to the yard and there’s nothing she can do.”

“You’re such a coward, Harry, why didn’t you confess?”

“Hey, I may be young but I ain’t stupid.”

“You know you made the whole mess.”

“Of course I made the mess. There was BEEF STEW on the counter.”

“There was not, you mobster.”

“It was there all day yesterday when she cooked it slowly, the smell was driving me crazy and I was dying to jump on the counter, only she was home all day so I couldn’t. But this morning—ha! She left, so I made my move.”

“Too bad she’d already put away the beef stew, dummy.”

“Hey, you’re supposed to be the Juvenile Delinquent. You’re supposed to be my Assistant in Mayhem.”

“I’m nobody’s assistant, Cur. I create my own mayhem.”

“Excuse my ignorance. What mayhem is that?”

“I disappear in the woods whenever I feel like it. She thinks she’s keeping an eye on me, but poor woman can’t help it, she listens to the birds, she watches her steps on the ice, looks at the shadows of the trees on the snow. Meantime I hang back slowly, take a few steps back, a few more, and before she knows it I’m gone. That’s my kind of mayhem, which, if I may say, Cur, is a lot more fun that jumping up on the counter and finding no beef stew.”

“True, but I had fun throwing everything down on the floor. And what about the horses yesterday, when she left the car to feed those horses she loves so much, leaving us in the back seat? Only it’s a warm day, and she left the car window open a smidgeon, and what did I do?”

“Probably the stupidest thing I ever saw.”

“The most colossal mayhem imaginable. I flattened myself, got over the window, and ran right under the fence and into the horse pasture. They should make a television series about me!”

“Do you know how close you came to being kicked to death by Gala?”

“That dumb horse missed every time!”

“She only had to connect once. Why did you bark at them like some maniac?”

“What did you think I was going to do, zazen? You run into a horse pasture and you bark! What’s the point otherwise?”

“You got Gala so riled up.”

“Getting everybody riled up is my purpose in life. See what happened to the woman when she came home and found all those things on the floor? Hee hee hee!”

“Funny, I didn’t hear any hee hee hee when she got riled up, I just saw a silly dog make for the hills. Or the dog door.”

“A hasty retreat is a strategic move in our general campaign to create mayhem in the house.”

“I heard her telling a friend that she’s not stopping to feed the horses ever again as long as you’re in the back seat.”

“Good. I hate horses.”

“But you know what else she said, Mayhem Harry? She said she doesn’t think she’ll open windows for us in the back anymore, not even a little bit, not even in the summer. What good is a car ride without open windows?”

“Don’t you worry about that, Delinquent, she’s too soft-hearted. You’ll make a couple of little baby whimpers, look at her over your shoulder with those dark, moist eyes of yours while you face the window, and how much you want to bet she won’t think: Well, maybe just a little bit for Aussie. She rolls down the window, I push you out of the way, and off I go.”

“I don’t know, Harry.”

“Partners in Mayhem, that’s what we’ll be from now on.”

“Okay, but I’m not your assistant!”