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Tigger Holmes and the Case of the Shrunken Prince

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Tigger was waiting for Rabbit to come home from visiting various of his friends and relations, and wondering what to do, when he noticed the mirror was flashing.  Accordingly, he bounced over and said, “Hello, Tigger Holmes here.  Can I help you?”

Queen Hepzibah’s face appeared in the mirror.  “Good afternoon, Tigger.  I’m just calling to let you know that the coachman is on his way to pick you and Watson up.  We have a problem we’re hoping you can solve.”

“Of course, your majesty.  What has happened?”

“We’ve lost Prince Eadwig.”  She waited while Tigger tried not to laugh, before adding, “Yes, ordinarily we wouldn’t be bothered, but it was all rather unfortunate.”  She went on to explain and had just finished when there was a knock at the door.  “That should be the coachman.  I sent him to pick up Watson first.”

Tigger put on his sou’wester, picked up Watson’s bowler hat and went to answer the door.  The coachman bowed and then opened the coach door for him.  Tigger climbed inside, to find Eeyore already seated there.

“Your hat, Watson,” Tigger said.

Eeyore put the bowler hat on and waited for Tigger to explain why they had been summoned by the queen.

“Prince Eadwig is missing,” Tigger began.

“That isn’t a loss I would worry about,” Eeyore replied.

“Neither would anyone else, ordinarily.  Except the circumstances are a little strange.  It seems Prince Eadwig decided to wake Princess Aurora, who he says is his sleeping beauty, with a bunch of flowers and a kiss.  Princess Aurora doesn’t take kindly to being woken before she’s ready…”

“I don’t blame her.”

“…and rather crossly waved her arms around.  In the process, Prince Eadwig turned green, gave a loud shriek and shrank.”

“It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving subject.”

“Anyway, they need to find him and they’re hoping we can help.”

By this time, the coach had slowed up.  Once it had stopped, Tigger and Eeyore climbed down and were greeted by Queen Hepzibah and King Septimus.

“Thank you for coming so promptly,” the queen said.  She fought what was clearly going to be a losing battle with a smile, and said, “We are taking this very seriously.”

“Very seriously indeed,” the king echoed, not even bothering to pretend he wasn’t laughing.  “We think he’s somewhere in there.”  He pointed to a large meadow.  “If you could find him, then we can decide what to do with him.  A cage, possibly.  In fact that’s an excellent idea.  We used to have a parrot, we could use its old cage.”

“You do still have a parrot, dear,” the queen said.  “Although it flies around freely most of the time.  And I somehow doubt it would want to share its cage with Prince Eadwig.  But, anyway that’s beside the point.  One step at a time, and the first thing is to find him.”

“Very well, your majesties,” Tigger said.  “We will start to look.”

Tigger and Eeyore walked to the meadow and Tigger began to bounce across the meadow in a reasonably orderly fashion, whilst Eeyore, spotting a clump of thistles, went to investigate them.

Shortly afterwards, Tigger heard the king call out, “Mr Holmes, Mr Holmes, I think Watson has him.”

Tigger bounced back and found Eeyore plodding back towards the king and queen with something small, green, and squeaking, dangling from his teeth.  When he reached the queen, she held out the parrot cage (they had borrowed it temporarily) with the door open, and he dropped the green object inside.  The queen slammed the door shut.

“Thank you very much, Watson, how did you find him?” Queen Hepzibah asked.

“He was running around, ruining a perfectly good thistle patch,” Eeyore replied.

“Typical of Eadwig,” King Septimus said, “always where he’s not wanted.”

“I suppose we’d better see what we can do with him now,” the queen sighed.  “If only because the parrot will want its cage back tonight.”

She and the king headed for the palace, while Tigger and Eeyore walked round the side of the building back to the coach.

Rabbit was home by the time Tigger arrived back.  “Have you had a good afternoon?” he asked.

“Yes, thank you.  Watson and I’ve been finding a prince amongst the thistles.”

“Excellent.  You can tell me all about it over tea.”