The Dirty Diaper Gang has struck again.
I know who did it. It was Meaniepants Mitch and his big ugly sister, Sticky Fingers Marcie. And I bet they had a hand from Smelly Frank and Liam the Lion (he has a stuffed lion with only one eye). I call them the Dirty Diaper Gang. And boy, do they smell!
Here at Guppy Gultch, I’m the sheriff. Sheriff Sam. I have a posse, mostly stuffed. But we keep the peace. The Dirty Diaper Gang always comes in at the crack of dawn and musses things up. They’re probably over in their hideout, the Toddler Climber. Us babies aren’t supposed to go over there cause it’s too high.
I amble around with my trusty sidekick, Mr. Pig and my ba ba full of red juice. I check on the local babies to see what’s been pilfered and try to calm them down a piece before a Sitter comes in to put us in a playpen pokey. It looks like a red ball, a green hammer, a water filled teether and a blankie have been stolen besides Poochie.
I go sit in my thinking chair. Then I notice my yellow sheriff star is not there.
My lips start to quiver, I sputter in some short breaths. I gulp and squeeze my eyes. I will not cry! I must be strong for the other babies. And then I’m ok. I look over at the Climber and see them peeking out. They laugh at me. I give them my best angry baby face.
We’ll see about that. It’s time to teach those stinky meaners a lesson.
I round up my posse. Mr. Pig, Zoe Zebra, Bongo Bear and Toadie. Trisha sees me putting them in a circle for a meeting and asks if she can come. I tell her, fine. But I don’t know how a cry-baby girl could help.
“I’m callin this meetin to order! We gotta do somefin about Meaniepants Mitch and his Dirty Diaper Gang!”
I pick up Mr. Pig and make him talk in his higher voice, “Yeah!”
“Yeah!” Trisha says too.
“Does anybody have any ideas?” I ask.
Nobody says anything. I drop my shoulders. “Bongo? Toadie? Zoe?”
They are quiet.
Off in the corner, Joey speaks up. He’s the one who lost his green hammer. He has a deeper, scratchy voice. Like Oscar the Grouch. “I know what we can do.”
“What?” I ask.
“You got red juice in your ba ba, right?”
“Me, too,” Trisha says.
“I do too,” Joey the Grouch says. “I’ll tell you what we should do.”
Joey’s plan wasn’t the best, but it is all we have. We make it through lunch and the sun shining in the window says it’s naptime.
Now no one ever wants to go to sleep, and we fight it every day and cry about it sometimes. But we usually drift off in spite of ourselves. Today we are going to stay awake and not cry.
It’s tough! My eyes keep wanting to shut. Trisha looks awful still laying on her mat and Joey might be sawing logs over in his corner there.
I take a gander at the Climber. There’s no movement or sound. I think everyone else is asleep. I get up real quiet like and tippy toe to the back side of the Climber. I peek in one of the holes and there they are, the Dirty Diaper Gang, sleeping like we do. You’d never know they were such meanies laying there so sweet.
I see the stolen loot. It’s being guarded by the one-eyed lion. I creep around and reach in. I can only carry two things at a time so I have to make a few trips. On the last one out I step on a squeaker.
Sticky Fingers is on me like a buzzard to dead meat.
“Lookie what we have here, boys!” She pulls both my arms behind my back and brings me into the Climber.
The gang wakes up and rubs their eyes. “Hey! Where’s all the stuff?” Mitch crabs.
“I took it back!” I say to him.
“You’re gonna pay for that, Sheriff!”
“Do your worst, Meaniepants!”
“Liam, Frank, toot him!”
“Oh, no!” I yell and duck my head.
Then from up above, something drips on them. It’s red juice. The Dirty Diaper Gang starts to bawl.
“Trisha! Joey! You woke up!”
“We couldn’t let you down, Sheriff!” Trisha says.
Marcie lets me go so she can help the boys. Trisha and Joey drop their bottles and we all get back to our mats. We shut our eyes like we was asleep.
The crying brings the Sitters.
“Oh, what a mess! Looks like you guys won’t be able to use this climber anymore,” one of them says. She pulls out a radio and talks to it. “Hey, Al. We need to get the Toddler Climber out of the Guppy Room.”
“Hey, Melissa. What should we do with these little guys?” the other Sitter says.
“First we'll have to give them baths. Then they’ll have to go in separate playpens for their naps. Silly babies. You shouldn’t pway with your bottles, should you, wittle guys!”
Yep. We can sleep easy now. Guppy Gultch is peaceful again.