Psych; ensemble; Rated G
"It's a giraffe," Gus whispered.
"Tall... spotted quadruped... you know, I think you're right."
"Let's call Mrs. Anderson, tell her we found the giraffe and get out of here." Gus started to stand up, but Shawn grabbed his shirt and pulled him back down.
He peered out of the bushes at their unsuspecting quarry who stood munching on a pile of leaves that had been dumped in the fenced-in lot. "We have to make sure it's the right one."
Gus' voice rose. "The right one?" He gestured to the abandoned warehouses around them. "I doubt there's a plethora of giraffes running around the city."
"Technically it's not 'running around'," Shawn pointed out, then, "Plethora? Word of the Day calendar?"
"Christmas present," Gus replied proudly.
"Huh." Shawn looked around and crept out of the sparse shrubbery, inching closer to the penned-in animal. "Once we verify it's Geoffrey, we can leave."
"It's pronounced Jeffrey."
Shawn paused. "We are talking about the toy chain mascot?"
"Jeffrey," Gus asserted. "They use the British spelling. And besides, I'm pretty sure that's not its name."
"You're probably right: Geoffrey is too snooty for a giraffe." He started forward again, keeping an eye out for Mr. Anderson, animal-napper at large.
Three days ago, Mrs. Anderson had come to them wanting help in locating and retrieving a missing giraffe. It seemed the Andersons ran a wildlife rescue habitat and in the divorce, the only animal they were in dispute about custody of was the giraffe. Mr. Anderson wanted to sell it to a circus; Mrs. Anderson wanted to ship it to a wildlife sanctuary in Kenya where he would have much more freedom than on their ninety-acre ranch. The court had awarded the missus temporary custody until the hearing next month. Two days after the ruling, the giraffe had disappeared. Mrs. Anderson had little faith in Santa Barbara's finest, which led her to Shawn and Gus' doorstep. Hence their present missing giraffe stake out.
"I'm not getting too close to that thing," Gus asserted, falling behind. "He might bite."
"Don't be a silly Gus," Shawn admonished. "I think they only spit."
"That's camels, Shawn, camels spit. I'm pretty sure giraffes bite."
"Fine, I'll protect you from the big, scary, hoofed thing," Shawn replied. "Besides, we're not getting that close."
"You don't have to get close enough to buy it jewelry, Shawn; you see how long his neck is. And do you know what the average length of a giraffe's tongue is? Forty-five centimeters. That's eighteen inches."
"Eighteen? Really?" Shawn stopped to contemplate this new piece of information. "If their tongue is that long, I wonder how long their --"
"Mister Spencer and Mister Guster, I should have known you two would be involved."
Shawn and Gus turned at the sound of Detective Lassiter's unmistakable voice. He was accompanied by his partner, Juliet O'Hara, and behind them they could see McNab holding a struggling man in handcuffs.
"Lassie, I was just gonna call you."
"Sure you were," Lassiter said with more than a little sarcasm.
"You must have picked up on my psychic vibes." Shawn gestured between him and Lassiter. "You and I, it's a connection. Not like the one I have with Jules, of course. More like a Batman and Robin thing."
"Hey," Gus protested, "I thought I was Robin."
"Dude, I was thinking you were more along the lines of Aquaman, but if you want to be Robin, I guess -"
"Cut the crap, Spencer," Lassiter interrupted again. "We've got Mr. Anderson in custody and we've found the missing giraffe."
"Excuse me, but we were here first," Gus pointed out.
"Knock it off!" Jules hollered.
Both men went immediately silent.
Once she had their attention, she continued, "We get credit for the arrest -"
"And recognition in the media," Lassiter added.
She shot him the look. "And you two get the money for finding the giraffe. I'm assuming it was Mrs. Anderson who hired you."
"Your powers of perception are only excelled by your good looks and impeccable fashion sense," Shawn complimented, laying on the charm. He never missed an opportunity to get in good with Jules.
She rolled her eyes and swung around, heading back toward McNab and the prisoner, effectively dismissing them all, Lassiter included.
With a glowering look at Shawn and Gus, her partner turned and followed.
"Now can we call Mrs. Anderson?" Gus inquired, looking warily at the giraffe. The animal ignored them all, still munching lazily on the leaves in its pen, and occasionally flicking its tail at a fly or two.
Shawn whipped out his cell phone. "Now we call Mrs. Anderson."
Three months later...
"Hey look at this," Shawn said, holding up a picture as Gus walked through the office door.
"What's that?" he said, squinting.
"It's Nduku." He said in a sing-song voice, "For just thirty-two cents a day, you can make a difference in the life of a giraffe. Your money will --"
"Cute," Gus patronized, snatching the photo. "Is that the giraffe we found?"
"Either that or someone signed us up for the Wild Animal of the Month club." Shawn grabbed the picture back. "According to his bio, Nduku likes long walks in the Savannah, back scratches and playing Red Rover."
Gus picked up the accompanying letter off his desk and scanned the contents. "Huru is living the good life on the Masai Mara preserve in Kenya," he read. Putting the paper down, he looked at Shawn. "Everything turned out good in the end."
"It makes my heart happy," Shawn said. "And gives me an idea: why don't we go to the zoo? We haven't been since, like, elementary school."
"I've had enough animals for a while."
"Really?" Shawn said, surreptitiously herding his friend toward the door. "Because I hear they're looking for someone to help sex the baby alligators."
"Not funny, Shawn. Really not funny."
Disclaimer: All characters are property of Steve Franks and the USA Network. No infringement intended.