“Susie!” screamed Jake and Midge. “Susie! Look out for that car!”
Susie's owner turned to see Susie running toward the street and screamed for Susie to stop. She heard the dogs barking. Susie stopped just in time as the car went speeding by her. Her owner came running and picked Susie up into her arms. She patted Susie on the head and hugged her tight. Susie purred and nuzzled her in the neck.
“Boy, that was close,” signed Midge. “She wasn't looking for the cars.”
“I know, she had one thing on her mind and that was running to welcome her owner back from the long trip.”
“Do you want to go to the park?” asked Booker-T. “I don't think Susie will come to the park today. She will be busy following her owner around the house.”
“Sure, lets go tell Susie we are going,” said Jake.
They checked both ways and crossed the street into Susie's yard. The wandered onto the porch and Jake tried to peek into the window and she saw Susie sitting on her owners lap.
“I think she is busy,” said Jake. “Lets go to the park and we can see Susie later after she has had time to spend with her owner.”
“Okay,” said Midge. “Lets go. It is warm and a good dip in the pond will feel good today.”
The three walked along the sidewalk to the park as Gabby flew above them.
“Lets go you guys,” said Gabby. “You walk too slow.”
“Well, we can't walk as fast as you can fly,” said Jake. “You slow down.”
“Ha ha,” laughed Jake. “I will meet you at the park.”
“Okay,” said Booker-T. “We will be there soon. We have all day. No need to hurry and wear ourselves out.”
They casually walked along the sidewalk and crossed the road into the park. Today, the park was quiet. The kids are back in school now so on the week days, the park is quiet. In the afternoons, when school is out, there are kids here playing ball or dipping their toes into the pond. Morning time is a good time for the friends to get together at the pond to play.
“Hey Snappy,” called Jake as they approached the little pond. “Where are you?”
“Hi you guys,” greeted Snappy. “I'm over here by the tree. I was taking a little nap. What are you doing?”
“We came to swim with you,” said Midge.
“Oh good,” said Snappy. “Where is Susie today?”
“Her owner came home this morning so she is at home with her today,” said Booker-T. “She was so excited to see her owner.”
“When we left, she was enjoying her owner petting her,” said Jake.
“I don't think she will miss us today,” said Midge. “She was too happy to see her owner come back.”
“That's good,” said Snappy. “I know she missed her a lot and I know she tried to hide her little sadness but it showed in her face sometimes.”
“Yes,” said Booker-T. “Sometimes she would sit on the porch in the evenings and watch her house as if she were trying hard to think her owner home.”
“I'm glad she is happy now,” said Snappy. “I never had an owner so I don't know how it is to miss someone like that. I do miss you guys when you don't come to play.”
“I never thought about it,” said Midge. “You don't have an owner. You are all alone out here.”
“But it's okay,” said Snappy. “I like being at the pond and I have you guys and that is all I need.”
“Are you sure you are okay not having an owner like we do?” asked Jake.
“Oh sure,” said Snappy. “An owner would keep me in a tank in their house and I would rather be out here in the park., It is more open and I have nice freedom here. I don't want to be in a tank.”
“I guess that wouldn't be so good,” said Jake. “I wouldn't want to be in a tank either. Or a cage.”
“Me too,” said Midge. “I wouldn't like being stuck in a tank. I guess you are better without an owner Snappy.”
“I think dogs and cats have more freedom when they live with a human than a bird or turtle would,” said Booker-T. “The little girl next door to Susie's has a couple of fish and they have to stay in that fish tank all day and night. I think they might be bored.”
“You think fish get bored?” laughed Midge.
“I don't know,” said Booker-T. “Maybe they do in those little tanks. No where to swim except round and round in that little tank.”
“That would be boring,” said Jake. “I know I wouldn't like it.”
“Well, I think we all agree that you are better without an owner Snappy,” said Midge. “Now lets go swimming. Last one in is a rotten egg.”
“Oh yucky,” said Jake. “I don't like rotten eggs.”
“I don't like eggs at all,” said Snappy. “I like to eat bugs.”
“You enjoy your bugs,” said Midge. “I think I would rather eat the eggs.”
“Come on Booker-T,” said Midge. “Aren't you coming in the water today?”
“No,” said Booker-T. “I don't want to swim today.”
“Are you okay Booker-T?” asked Jake.
“I'm okay,” sighed Booker-T.
“I think you are missing Susie being with us,” said Midge. “Am I right?”
“A little,” said Booker-T. “I'm used to her being with us every day the last two months and now she isn't here.”
“She will be coming again later,” said Jake. “She just needs the time right now to welcome her owner back.”
“I know,” said Booker-T. “I am happy for her. I know that she missed her owner. I watched her sitting on the porch or at the window every day looking for the car to pull into the driveway with her in it.”
“I guess I would feel the same as Susie does if my owner was to go away for a long time,” said Jake. “I am used to her being there every day. It would make me feel sad if she wasn't there every day with me.”
“You are right Jake,” agreed Midge. “It is good our owners are here all the time and don't have to travel like Susie's owner does. But this is the first time she had to be away this long.”
“You are all starting to feel sad and you are making me sad,” said Snappy. “How about we all cheer up and have a nice swim. Come on Booker-T. A good swim in the pond will make you feel better.”
“Snappy is right Booker-T,” said Midge. “Come on and lets go swimming and then we can all go see how Susie is doing.”
They all agreed that Snappy was right and they ran into the water to play.