Tootsie reminded me of a children's book that I wrote a long time ago. She suggested I share it with you, a little at a time. So, here goes the first installment of My Dog, Me. It's about a boy and a dog who change places due to inhaling ozone during a thunderstorm while making a wish. It's a little known scientific fact (very little known ... OK, not proven exactly). So, be careful what you wish for, especially during a thunderstorm. The book will be accompanied with pen and ink drawings when it is published. This is a first readers book.
I welcome your comments. Enjoy.
PS - Bitter Sugar is still in edit mode.
A Young Readers Novel
Rosemarie S. Perry
CHAPTER 1 –AN ORDINARY DAY, ALMOST
“Tyler, wake up,” chirped Mom from the bottom of the staircase.
“Oh, not morning already,” said Tyler in a whisper. He yawned and stretched his arms into the air coming to rest on the furry head of his best friend, Dundee, an Australian shepherd dog. “It’s so gloomy and cold. Even the sun is still under the covers. I sure wish I could stay home today, like you, Dundee.”
Dundee, a big blue- eyed mess with black, brown, and white fur nuzzled closer to his master seeming to enjoy their mutual warmth.
“You’re so lucky to be a dog,” Tyler said without making a move toward getting out of bed. He reluctantly turned toward his friend. “You don’t have to go to school or worry about homework. You don’t have to wonder if Alfred is going to take your crayons. It would be great not to have to stay away from Jessica. You know. She’s the one who promised to kiss me before the end of the year.”
Tyler heaved himself off the bed. “Dogs don’t have to do chores or be a guinea pig for Mom’s new recipes. You don’t even have to make the bed you sleep in.” He shoved the dog toward the side of the bed. “Come on, get off the bed, silly pooch, so I can smooth the covers. Just because you sleep in it doesn’t mean you own it.”
“Tyler, hurry!” said Mom from the bottom of the stairs. “You’ll miss the bus. It’s already quarter past seven.”
“OK, OK, Mom,” Tyler replied through a mouth full of toothpaste foam, his brown hair falling into his hazel eyes. He left a trail of bedclothes leading to the bathroom.
In a few short minutes Tyler was dressed and munching a biscuit with hazelnut spread as he sprinted to the bus stop. Dundee was ahead of him. His tongue was hanging out of his mouth, no doubt looking forward to the loving pats of the other children and at least one leftover bite of biscuit from Tyler. It was their morning ritual.
Three other students boarded the bus. “See you after school, Buddy,” Tyler yelled over his shoulder before the bus driver closed the door. Dundee sat and watched until the school bus groaned up the hill. Dundee trotted home after making a quick stop at the fire hydrant.
It was a pretty boring day at school. Alfred was absent. Jessica seemed more interested in figuring her math than making a plan to kiss Tyler. The whole day, it rained, and rained, and rained. Even Mrs. Duncan stifled a yawn at story time.
By the end of the school day there were lots of deep puddles, great for jumping into but impossible to dodge when running the bases. Boarding the school bus, Tyler already knew that baseball practice would be cancelled.
At 3:34 PM sharp, the yellow school bus slowed at the top of the hill. Dundee was already at the stop, his tail wagging in glee. A fenced yard never kept Dundee from his master. The other kids at the bus stop let Tyler get off the bus first.
“Hey, there, good buddy,” Tyler said as he scratched behind the dog’s ears. In a flash, Dundee was standing on his hind legs, almost as tall as Tyler. “Get down with those wet paws. You’re the only dog I ever met who always wants to dance, even in the rain.”
Normally the other kids would take turns “dancing” with Dundee as they called, “Me, next, Dundee. Dance with me.” All the kids loved the dog and his sloshy welcome home kisses. Today, though, they ran through the raindrops to their homes, leaving Tyler to be the only one with muddy paw prints on his jacket.
It continued to rain throughout the evening, making for an early bedtime. After dinner, Tyler wrote his spelling words, took a shower, and settled in his bed with the latest Diary of a Wimpie Kid book and his favorite foot warmer. When it seemed they were both settled and cozy, Dundee started to whine and jumped off the bed. Using his long snout, he nudged the door.
“You’re not hungry, are you, boy? Sorry, there aren’t any good doggie bites when there’s spaghetti for dinner,” Tyler explained peering over his book.
That didn’t satisfy the dog who continued to moan until Tyler got out of bed. The sleepy boy grumbled as he went to the kitchen to get his buddy a bite of leftover meatball. It was gone in one swallow. Tyler smiled. “You are such a pest. I wonder if you would do the same for me, silly pup.”
Tyler returned to the bed and slithered under the covers as his best friend hopped up, circling around and around until he found his favorite spot. Tyler draped his arm over Dundee and said, “Wouldn’t it be fun if we could trade places for a day? I wish we could. It would be such fun, don’t you think?” Tyler noticed the window was slightly open, but then, it was usually this way, and he couldn’t remember it ever raining in. Fluffing his pillow as he looked out the window, Tyler said, “Dundee, look. The sky has a tint of green. I wonder why. Are there rainbows at night?”
Dundee leaned up and gave his forever friend a sloshy good night kiss. Tyler drifted off to sleep wondering what it would be like to spend the day as a dog. Dundee nudged his head under Tyler’s soft warm hand. They both heard the rolling sounds of thunder and noticed a funny smell in the air. But even the noise and the strange green sky didn’t stop them from sleeping.