by Mary McClellan -

Natalie walked into her bedroom and found Buddy surrounded by chewed up papers. “Oh, no.  Buddy, you’ve been a bad dog,” she said.

Buddy hid under the bed and watched as she picked up what was left of her homework folder and her new dictionary.

“I’m going to be in trouble for leaving my things on the floor where you could get them. Did the cover of the dictionary taste bad? It’s the only part you didn’t eat.”

Buddy inched farther back under the bed.

“How can I do my homework without my folder?” she asked. “I have to study for a test.”

“I’m sorry,” a voice said.

Natalie stopped and looked around. “Who said that?”

Buddy looked around, too.

Natalie got down on her hands and knees and looked under the bed. “Is someone under there with you, Buddy?”


“Buddy, is that you talking?” she asked.

“I…I guess it is. Yes,” said Buddy, with a look of surprise on his face.

Natalie stared at him. “Come out here.”

Buddy crawled out from under the bed and sat in front of her.

“When did you start talking?” she asked.

“This is the first time.” He scratched his ear with his hind leg. “I’m just as surprised as you are.”

“How did this happen?” Natalie asked.

“I don’t know, but I might be able to figure it out if I had a biscuit.”

“You always want a biscuit. Is that all you think about?” she asked.

“Yes, most of the time.”

“You’re thinking about food, and I’m worrying about tomorrow’s spelling test. I need to study those words that sound alike but have different meanings.”

“Like t-h-e-r-e and t-h-e-i-r?” asked Buddy.

Natalie stared at Buddy, her mouth open. “How do you know that?”

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