Wednesday, March 19, 2014

BSC #25: Mary Anne and the Search for Tigger

By Ann M. Martin. Published June 1989.

Mary Anne and Logan are sitting outside with Tigger. Richard has the rule that Logan is not allowed in the house if he’s not there. I think that’s a good rule, and a better one than Stacey’s mom has later on that Stacey and her boyfriend are only allowed in the kitchen. Because there can be no funny business going on in the kitchen. *eye roll

Anyway, they’re watching Tigger play, and then watch as various neighborhood kids come over to play with him. Four-year-old Jamie is just wandering around by himself again. This is becoming a pattern. Get it together, Mrs. Newton.

Logan is kind of in and out of their conversation, and at times he gets a bit snippy with Mary Anne. She decides to just brush it off, though.

Logan leaves, and Mary Anne gets ready to go over to Claudia’s for the meeting. She tries to take Tigger inside, but he obviously has other ideas. She decides to leave him out. She’s done it a couple of times before, and he’s been fine. Besides, he has a cat door.

But when Mary Anne gets home later, he’s nowhere to be found, inside or out. Her dad helps her look, but they don’t have any luck. Richard says he’s probably just off sleeping somewhere.

He still doesn’t show up before Mary Anne’s sitting job the next afternoon. She’s sitting for Logan’s brother and sister, Kerry and Hunter. He normally sits for them, but he has baseball practice. Hunter has severe allergies, and his allergy-speak is written out phonetically. It’s pretty annoying. And he’s currently going through a pretty bad spell. Kerry is a very helpful kid, aside from going to her room quite often.

When Mary Anne gets home from her job, Tigger still hasn’t returned. So she calls Kristy to tell her about it, and Kristy calls for an emergency meeting. She says even though it’s not a sitting problem, it still affects one of the club’s members. The girls all rally behind Mary Anne, and come up with a flyer to put around the neighborhood. Kristy says her mom will go into work to make copies. This is really nice of her, driving all that way on a Saturday night. Also, the girls all pitch together money, their own and a little out of the treasury, to come up with a thirty dollar reward.

The next day, the girls and Logan meet up to put the fliers on poles and in mailboxes. Mary Anne runs across a kid, not a sitting charge, who reads the flier, then straight-up lies about having seen Tigger. He mainly seems interested in the money. Mary Anne doesn’t fall for it, though.

Mary Anne sits for the Newtons, and they meet up with the Perkins girls to look for Tigger some more in Mary Anne’s backyard. Mary Anne gets frustrated, and decides to check the mail. There is a letter for her, and it’s a very childish ransom note, telling her if she wants to see her cat alive again, to leave $100 in an envelope at a big rock at a field the next afternoon.

She calls Logan, who doesn’t sound as shocked as she would like. But he agrees to come to the meeting that afternoon. Then she calls Kristy, who does give the reaction she was looking for.

Kristy calls the meeting a combination regular/emergency meeting. Girl does love her emergencies. Everyone examines the note and the envelope, then begin plotting. Logan comes up with a plan, but one that does not include adults, because they’ll just “get in the way”. And he’s still a bit moody with Mary Anne.

Well, the adults may not know about the note, but somehow every kid in the neighborhood does. Dawn sit for the Barretts that night, and Buddy has set up protection around Pow, their dog, in case this is the start of a rash of pet-nappings. Dawn thinks this is ridiculous, but isn’t that the plot of one of her mysteries?

The next afternoon, everyone but Mary Anne gets in hiding spots around the field. Mary Anne takes an envelope filled with Monopoly money, and places it on the rock. She walks back to her house, and then takes a back way to the field, and hides with Kristy. Nothing happens for a long time, then they see a kid approaching the rock. It’s that same kid who lied about seeing Tigger when Mary Anne was putting up the posters. They all jump out and surround him. They interrogate the kid, and he admits he never had Tigger, he just wanted some money. Logan tells him what he did was a felony, and he could get twenty-five to fifty years. What a liar. They finally let him go.

Mary Anne is back at the Bruno’s, this time sitting just for Hunter, while Logan and Kerry go to the dentist. Hunter’s allergies are as bad as ever, if not worse, and Mary Anne drives herself crazy, thinking it has something do with her, so she washes off perfume and throws her sweatshirt out of the room. When she says they may have to put away his toys, he says he knows what’s making him sneeze more, and leads Mary Anne to Kerry’s closet. Sitting there in a big box is Tigger.

Mary Anne is overjoyed to see him, but realizes he’ll have to stay in the box, or Hunter will be really bad off. Mary Anne talks with him, and he had only known about it since that morning, and doesn’t know any of the other details. She tells him they’ll have to tell his mother, even though Kerry will get in trouble. Mary Anne wonders if Logan knew.

When the rest of the family gets home, Mary Anne tells Mrs. Bruno there’s a kitten in Kerry’s closet, and it’s hers. Mrs. Bruno and Logan are shocked. Kerry’s story comes out. She was on her way home that day, and found Tigger. She didn’t know he was Mary Anne’s, but thought he wasn’t being very well cared for, being allowed to wander like that. She wanted to prove that she was responsible enough to take care of an animal, and also that if she kept it in her room, it wouldn’t bother Hunter’s allergies. Obviously, that bit didn’t work out very well.

Now for some reason, Mary Anne has it in her head that Logan knew, and storms out, after accusing him of knowing all along. It’s a little crazy. They don’t talk the next day during school, but then Mary Anne wants to. He says he’ll come by after practice.

So, while sitting outside, of course, Mary Anne asked him if he knew, and he denies it, and wants to know why she would even think that. She says it’s because he was unsympathetic during the whole thing. He says he would never hurt her on purpose. He tells her he’s been having problems lately that he’s about to be kicked off the baseball team, because he keeps messing up. But he says it wasn’t fair to take out his problems on Mary Anne. They promise to be more honest with each other,

During the next club meeting, Logan, for some reason, calls to give them an update on Kerry. Their parents weren’t happy, but they understood why she did it, so they’re punishing her lightly. And they’re going to get her a pet that doesn’t have fur. And she’s going to get human friend in Charlotte Johansson.

o   Mary Anne says her dad, for his dates, puts on aftershave for that smells like the dentist’s office. Er, what? Maybe that’s why Sharon is still also dating the Trip-Man.

o   Again, Mary Anne tells us getting the mail is her “absolute favorite thing to do”. Better keep that under wraps, Mary Anne. If Kristy finds out it’s not baby-sitting, she’ll have your head.

o   Mary Anne says this is the worst thing that’s ever happened to her. Really, Mary Anne? It’s worse than your mom dying? At least Logan tells her she’s being overdramatic. Moody Logan is good for some things.

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