The Curse of Cuddles McGee

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-09-23
  • Publisher: Aladdin

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While poking around their neighborhood, mystery-solving, swamp monster-fighting middle-graders Arlie and Ty fi nd a buried coffee can fi lled with the bones of a hamster and the handwritten curse (on glittery unicorn notepaper) from his home-schooled owner, Mandy:"Here lies Cuddles McGee. A curse upon those who disturb his grave."The fact that the i in "lies" is topped with a heart doesn't make them any less scared, especially when the obese, angry, and undead Cuddles comes back to life and starts trashing the town.Once again, it's up to Arlie, Ty, and Mr. Boots -- the fashionably dressed Chihuahua, to save the town from destruction, reanimated dead hamster-style.

Author Biography

Emily Ecton is the author of The Great Pet Heist as well as a number of middle grade books published under the names Emily Ecton and Emily Fairlie. She is also a former writer and producer for “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!,” the Peabody Award­–winning comedy news quiz on NPR. She lives in Virginia, with Howdy, a law-abiding dog with no known criminal affiliations. Visit her at EmilyEcton.com.


Chapter 1I blame Mr. Boots. sure, i accept responsibility for my actions -- I'm not saying I don't. All I'm saying is that none of this would've happened if Mr. Boots hadn't gone around flaunting his privates so much.Mr. Boots is our dog -- basically a mutant Chihuahua -- and up until a couple of months ago he was a regular fashion plate. My mom and my sister, Tina, kept him decked out in doggie fashions that had the double advantage of making him a style icon while keeping him decent, if you know what I mean.I don't want to get into the whole thing here, but a couple of months ago Mr. Boots got into a little trouble, and Tina blamed the outfit. We all decided that it would be best if he just went au naturel for a while. It seemed like a good idea at the time, and Mr. Boots was all for it. And that was the problem.Let me say right here that I, Arlene Jacobs, have no problem with canine nudity. I've seen other dogs go around in the buff and it's fine, they look perfectly normal. But for some reason, Mr. Boots always looks like he's posing for hisPlaydogpictorial. It's pretty disconcerting. I've learned to avert my eyes, but Mom, well, she's not handling it quite so well. Let me put it this way -- we never used to have to stock smelling salts. (Mom likes to call them her personal aroma-therapy crystals, but come on, we know what we're talking about here.)We thought things would get better after a while -- you know, Mr. Boots would start acting a little less pervy and Mom would get used to him -- but it just wasn't happening. Not to mention the fact that his wardrobe malfunction of a couple of months ago made him a kind of a minor celebrity in our town, resulting in a "Boots Watch" column in the local tabloid and occasional gawkers on the lawn. So in the middle of dinner last week, Dad had announced that he and Mom were heading out to a spa for a weeklong seaweed wrappapalooza. He said it was because they had mucky pores or something, but everybody knew it was just so Mom could get away from Nudieboots for a while.So if it hadn't been for Mr. Boots, me and my best friend Ty wouldn't have been killing time at the construction site of the new town pool. But when your dad hands you a naked dog and banishes you from the house so your mother can pack, your options are pretty limited. The construction site was Ty's idea, and I was all for it. I figured, how bad can it be? I mean, bulldozers -- that's pretty exciting, right?Actually, bulldozers are not so exciting when all they're doing is sitting there parked. Apparently bulldozing is not a 24/7 activity, and we'd missed the actual 'dozing for the day. So instead of an afternoon of wacky bulldozer hijinks, we ended up with a field of churned-up red clay and a couple of hibernating bulldozers. Which is exciting for about thirty seconds, I'd say.Mr. Boots immediately began a thorough inspection of the area, and me and Ty made the best of it. But honestly, there are only so many ways you can rearrange little flags and only so many times you can pretend you're getting run over by huge bulldozer wheels. "Arrrghh, Arlie, the pain! I'm totally squished." Ty writhed in front of the bulldozer. Ha-ha, right? Maybe the first time, but I'm serious here, ten times is way too many. It's not even like he looked squished."Arrrrghhhhh...can't move my legs!" Ty gurgled."Getting old, Ty," I said as a big blop of water hit me on the forehead. I peered up at the sky and groaned. Nothing like threatening storm clouds and minor drizzle action to make my day even better.I squatted down on a clump of clay and tickled Mr. Boots's foot. After his inspection had turned up nothing unusual, Mr. Boots had passed out in a tire track. His face was crusted with red muck and he looked pathetic, but what was even more pathetic was that he looked really comfortable. I tickled his foot again, and he kicked the crap out of my hand without even openi

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