Jake and Midge sat on the front porch watching the kids walking by to go to the bus stop to catch the bus. The air was cool now but the sun felt good and wasn't too hot anymore. Summer was gone and the fall days were starting.
"Do you like winter?" asked Midge.
"No," said Jake. "It is always too cold and I don't like the snow when it comes," said Jake.
"I don't like it either," said Midge. "I don't like walking in the snow. It is really cold on my feet."
"Mine too," said Jake.
"Last week my owner bought me some little booties to wear in the snow," said Midge. "I never saw a dog wearing booties before."
"I don't have any," said Jake. "I know this little chihuahua who wears them. He lives on the other side of the park. I saw him down by the pond one day with them on."
"Who is that?" asked Midge. "Do I know him?"
"No," said Jake. "I saw him at the vet's office the first time. He came in wearing a little red sweater and black booties on his feet."
"Oh that must have looked funny," laughed Midge.
"I don't think he liked the booties," said Jake. "His owner set him on the floor and he was shaking the feet little. I think he was trying to shake off the booties."
“I like to sit near the fire when I go inside after walking in the snow and warm the feet,” said Midge. “I think we will be getting snow soon maybe.”
“I don't think it will come til after the first holiday,” said Midge. “The kids love to play in the snow. the little girl next door to me likes to build a snowman when it snows.”
“The little boy here likes to play with his sled in the snow,” said Jake. “I saw him in the park riding it down the big hill on the other side of the pond. It looks like fun.”
“Wish we could try that,” said Midge. “I bet that is lot of fun.”
“What is a lot of fun?” asked Booker-T as he ran up the porch steps. “It sure is getting colder now.”
“I think riding one of those sleds that the kids have would be fun,” said Midge.
“I have seen the kids riding them,” said Booker-T. “Looks scary to me racing down the hill and no way to stop.”
“They use their feet if they want to stop,” said Jake. “But they usually don't stop them until they are at the bottom of the hill.”
“I used to sit and watch the girls sliding around on the pond ice when it freezes over,” said Booker-T.
“I saw them,” said Midge.
“Me too,” said Jake. “I don't know how they stay up on those blade looking things.”
“When they left the park and went home,” said Booker-T. “I tried running and sliding on the ice. It is fun just on my feet but it is really hard to stand up on the ice.”
“That sounds like fun,” said Midge. “Do you want to try that when it gets frozen this year Jake?”
“Sure,” said Jake. “It will be fun sliding across the pond.”
“I sure feel bad for Snappy in the freezing weather,” said Midge. “His home in the pond is frozen and he can't get into the water.”
“I know, but he does good,” said Jake. “He don't like the freezing weather but he gets through it okay. I know he is really happy when the spring comes.”
“I wouldn't like it if my home got frozen,” said Midge.
“Me too,” said Booker-T. “It was hard when I lived in the alley with no home to go into when it was freezing outside. Cardboard boxes don't keep you too warm.”
“I'm glad you have a nice warm home now,” said Jake. “Midge did good when she found that one for you.”
“She did and I am very thankful to have it,” said Booker-T. “I feel sad sometimes for other animals who are out in the cold and no where to go into and get warm.”
“The night time is worse for them,” said Midge. “I wish we could find them all a nice warm place to live.”
“Your heart is big Midge,” said Jake. “But not as easy for us to find homes for them as it would be for humans to do.”
“My owner tries to help,” said Booker-T. “She works at the animal shelter a couple nights a week and works hard to find other animals a home. I'm so happy that she has let Susie come live with us when her owner took the traveling job.”
“Where is Susie this morning?” asked Midge.
“She was tired and wanted to stay home and sleep by the fire today,” said Booker-T. “She is enjoying the warm fire. They didn't have a fireplace in her house.”
“They are nice when it is cold out,” said Midge. “I love being in front of the fire too. My owner puts out the fire before we go to bed though. If the power goes out in a storm and it is cold, we will sleep downstairs near the fire that night.”
“My owner leave the fire burning until it burns itself out,” said Jake. “She has some kind of screen in front of the fireplace so nothing pops out on the floor.”
“Mine too,” said Midge. “That's a fireplace screen, I think.”
“Hi everyone,” called Gabby as he swooped down on the porch from the tree branch above. “What are you talking about?”
“Hi Gabby,” said Midge. “We were talking about the cold weather coming and how nice it is to sit in front of the fireplace and enjoy the warm fire.”
“I never go to sit in front of a fireplace before,” sighed Gabby. “I have sat near a open fire of someone's campsite before. They are nice and warm.”
“They go camping in the cold weather?” asked Midge.
“Oh sure,” replied Gabby. “A person who loves to camp will go anytime of the year.”
“Oh too cold for me to sleep outside,” said Midge. “I'm happy I am in the house when it is so cold.”
“Me too,” said Jake.
“Me too,” said Booker-T. “I am so glad that Midge got me the new home and I don't have to sleep outside anymore. I don't like the cold weather. I know winter is just getting ready to start, but I am now ready for Spring to come.”
“Me too,” said Gabby. “I don't have a warm home to get into so am always ready for the warm weather to come back.”
“Why don't you fly to where it is warmer like some of the other birds do?” asked Jake.
“I tried that once and it is too far to fly,” said Gabby. “So I stay here and try to find different places to get into and stay warm. Can you find me a nice home Midge?”
“I know people have pet birds, but I don't think they are your kind of bird,” said Midge. “I think they are parrots and parakeets.”
“No one wants a bluejay,” sighed Gabby. “I guess they think we are wild and should be flying south to where it is warmer.”
“Well, that is what birds usually do that live around here,” said Jake. “I saw a bunch of birds flying south yesterday. Why not join them Gabby?”
“I will think about it,” said Gabby. “The birds over near the Jackson farm will be flying south soon. Maybe I will go with them.”
“I would be better than staying here and freezing,” said Midge.
“I would offer you a place with Susie and I near the warm fire, but don't think I could talk my owner into letting you in the house,” said Booker-T.
“That's okay,” said Booker-T. “Thanks for offering it though.”
“Well, do you all want to go to the park and play for a while and see how Snappy is?” asked Jake.
“Sure,” said Midge. “Lets go. The kids are in school now and the park will be quiet.”
The four friends hurried along the sidewalk heading to the park. They ran across the park to the pond and found Snappy sitting on the log in the middle of the pond.