The morning after the rodeo at the ranch, as each member of the household woke up, they thought about what a fun day it had been. There was a good turnout from the neighboring ranches and everyone enjoyed the activities, the delicious food, and getting to know each other a little better.Little Jake’s room was next to Jamie and Brad’s room, and there was an adjoining door that Jamie used to check on Jake or go to him if he had a bad dream. This particular morning, she woke up later than usual. She assumed Jake was still sleeping, but when she entered his room, she discovered he wasn’t in his bed. Thinking he must have gone downstairs by himself, Jamie and Brad rushed to the kitchen to see if Miss Bessie and Grandma Helen had seen him.As they searched, it became increasingly apparent that Jake was gone…and so was Katie.Arf and Annie had followed a truck they saw leave the ranch, to a house they recognized as being the one belonging to Steve and Dina when they were first married. They had lived there until after Katie was born and for a while after Dina left the family. She left because she was very sick and didn’t want to subject Steve to having to take care of her. He was doing well with Katie who was unable to walk and that was enough. Dina came back six years later.***********************************Arf and Annie decided to jump into the back of the truck in case whoever had the kids decided to leave again. From that vantage point, they could see through a window, until someone came and closed the curtains. That someone was a woman.Arf: Did you see Jake and Katie, Annie?Annie: Yes…they were sitting at a table. Have you ever seen that woman before, Arf?Arf: No. I don’t know who she is.************************************Dina and Jamie paced the floors until the Sheriff got there and started to question everyone.While all of this was going on, Miss Bessie went to help Barbie. She wasn’t quite used to the house and needed someone to help her find her way.”I see you’re all dressed and ready to go downstairs. You look lovely dear.””Thank Miss Bessie. I can do everything for myself except find my way around this rather large house.”There is something I need to tell you,” Miss Bessie said. “Little Jake and Katie are missing. They weren’t in their rooms this morning when their mothers went to check on them. The sheriff is here now questioning everyone.””Take me to him,” Barbie said. “I may be able to help. Tom hasn’t left for the airport has he?”“No, dear. He went with the other men to search for the kids. What if someone has taken them? I can’t believe they would run away. Besides, it’s too far to walk anywhere.”When they got to the kitchen, the Sheriff was questioning Grandma Helen who was sobbing so loudly he couldn’t hear a word she said.”Jamie…can you come here?” Barbie felt around and grabbed onto the back of a chair and pulled it out to sit on.”What is it, Barbie?” Jamie asked as she took the chair next to her new sister-in-law. “I’m trying to catch every word being said. I feel so helpless.””Bring the Sheriff to me, Jamie. I’m not sure, but I might be of some help.””It’s nice to meet you, Sheriff Thomas,” Barbie said. “I’ll get right to the point. I lost my sight in a fire twenty years ago and since that time, my other senses have become stronger. I heard something in the night, but not being used to this household, I didn’t think much about it until Miss Bessie told me the kids were missing.””Go on, Miss Humboldt,” the Sheriff said.”Katie’s room is across from mine and I think two doors to my left. In other words, if I were to stand in my doorway and walked across the hall, I would turn to my left and go down two doors and that would be katie’s room.”“I have no idea what time it was, but I thought I heard a door creak? Does Katie’s door creak?””Yes!” Dina said.! “Yes, it does. I’ve been trying to get Steve to fix it.”Barbie thought for a moment before she continued.”I heard a woman’s voice. She was talking in a loud whisper, so even if I knew her, I probably wouldn’t have recognized her voice.””Anyway, I heard her say, ‘Wake up honey. I brought you some cough syrup. You were coughing in your sleep. That’s a good girl. Now before you fall asleep again, get up and come with me so I can keep an eye on you.’ And then I heard them leave the room. I never did hear Katie say anything. I just assumed it was you, Dina and you were taking Katie to your room.”The Sheriff had been taking notes and when he looked up, everyone could tell he was happy to get the information, but at the same time, he was hoping for more.The guys had all split up and gone to the different ranch houses to ask if anyone had seen the kids and when the answer was no, as it had been so far, they asked the families if they would keep an eye out for them.Around two in the afternoon, Steve and Tom pulled up to a place Steve recognized.”Dina and I lived here a lifetime ago,” he told Tom. “A month ago, a man and his wife were living here, but I don’t see any signs that anyone lives here now.””Let’s go knock on the door and if no one answers, I’ll get us in. In my work as a firefighter, I have to know how to get into the securest of places.”************************************Arf and Annie were still hidden in the back of the truck when a woman came out with Katie and Jake.”I didn’t know I had another grandma,” Katie said. “Are you sure it’s okay for us to go on a picnic with you, today?””I don’t want to go,” Jake said. He was tired and very close to crying. “I want to go home to my mommy and daddy and take a nap.”“We won’t be late getting you back home,” the woman said. “I just love having grandchildren and I want to spoil you.”Arf: What do you think is going on, Annie?Annie: I’m trying to figure it out. I don’t think she is anybody’s grandma do you?Arf: No, but we have to come up with a plan. We have to get the kids away from her without giving her a chance to hurt them.Annie: Whatever we do, it will have to be at the next stop. She’s backing out.”Grandma,” Jake said. “You left the picnic basket inside.”“We’ll get another one. I wanted to put more candy in it anyway.”When Steve and Tom got into the house, they first thought it had been a while since anyone had occupied it…until they spotted the picnic basket.