“Hey Jake!” called Midge as she and Booker-T came running into the gate at Jake's house.
“Hi Midge,” said Jake as he sat up. “Why are you two in such a hurry?”
“Guess what!” said Booker-T.
“It is so cool Jake,” said Midge. “It is so cool. You will like it.”
“It is exciting,” said Booker-T. “We just had to come and tell you about it.”
“Are you going to tell me what it is?' asked Jake.
“Oh yes,” said Midge. “I almost forgot.”
“We have a new park next door to the zoo,” said Booker-T.
“What kind of park?” asked Jake. “Why is it cool?”
“It's a dog and cat park,” said Midge.
“A dog and cat park?” asked Jake. “Why is it called a dog and cat park?”
“It's a park for dogs and cats to go to and run and play,” said Booker-T.
“Oh wow,” said Jake. “That is good, but do they go there by themselves or do their owners go with them?”
“I think most of them are there with their owners,” said Midge.
“Can we get in without our owners?” asked Jake.
“We don't know,” said Booker-T. “Do you want to go check it out?”
“Lets go,” said Jake as he followed Midge and Booker-T out the gate.
The three hurried along the sidewalk to the zoo area. They crossed the street and stood at the gate of the new park. “Wow,” said Booker-T. “Look at all the dogs having fun. I don't see any cats.”
“What does the sign say Jake?” asked Midge.
“There are two gates into the park,” said Jake.
“Why do they have two gates?” asked Midge.
“Gate number one goes into the area where dogs play,” said Jake. “Gate number two goes into the area that is for cats.”
“I can't go in with you two?” asked Booker-T.
“It looks like the dogs and cats don't go together,” said Jake.
“Why?” asked Midge. “The three of us always play together.”
“I don't want to play in this park if we can't play together,” said Booker-T.
“It looks like it would be fun,” said Jake. “But I agree with Booker-T. If we can't play together, I don't want to play in this park.”
“Why can't we play together in the park?” asked Midge.
“I think a lot of the cats and dogs don't get along,” said Jake.
“I think the dogs like chasing the cats,” laughed Midge. “Maybe we can teach them to get along.”
“Midge,” said Jake. “How are you going to do that?”
“I'm not sure,” said Midge. “We should try. It looks like a fun park to play in, but I want our friend Booker-T to come play with us.”
“Me too,” said Jake.
“We can go play at the other park,” said Booker-T. “I like playing with you too.”
“What would happen if we just walk in together?” asked Midge. “Would they stop Booker-T?”
“We can try,” said Booker-T.
The three stood there watching all the different dogs in the park playing, running, sliding down a big slide, and swimming in the pool. Some were chasing balls that their owners were tossing.
“Do you want to try, Jake?” asked Midge.
“Sure,” said Jake.
The three walked to the gate and stood looking around and saw no one coming toward them to chase them away. The slowly walked through the gate and joined the other dogs running and playing. Booker-T stood between Jake and Midge. As they started to run toward the little pool at the end of the area, a big black dog came walking toward them.
“Hey!” he said “Why is that cat in here?”
“That cat,” said Jake. “Is our friend. We always play together.”
“This is a dog park,” said the black dog. “Cats have their own park over there.”
“But we like to play with our friend,” said Midge. “Don't you have cat friends?”
“No,” said the black dog. “I don't know any cats.”
“What is your name?” asked Midge.
“I'm Butch,” said the black dog.
“I'm Midge,” she said. “And this is Jake and our cat friend is Booker-T.”
“Why do you like playing with a cat?” asked Butch.
“We don't look at Booker-T as a cat,” said Jake. “We look at him as our friend.”
“You like playing with dogs?” asked Butch looking at Booker-T.
“I like playing with Midge and Jake and anyone else who wants to play with us,” said Booker-T. “We would like to be your friend too if you want to be our friend.”
“I have never played with a cat before,” said Butch. “What do cats like to do?”
“Some of us like to do the same thing dogs do,” said Booker-T. “I like to play with balls, run and jump, play in the water and whatever my friends like to do.”
“Where is your owner?” asked Butch.
“We are here by ourselves,” said Jake. “Our owners are at work.”
“They let you go out by yourselves?” asked Butch.
“We always come out alone,” said Midge. “We have doggie doors at home and after our owners go to work, we come out and have fun.”
“Are you here with your owner?” asked Midge.
“See that girl over there with the green shirt and the pigtails,” said Butch.
The three looked around the park and saw the young girl sitting on the bench near the little pool.
“Your owner is really young,” said Booker-T.
“She is my owner's daughter,” said Butch. “She takes me for walks all the time and sometimes we play fetch together. We were playing and she got tired so is resting.”
“We don't have young people in our homes,” said Midge.
“We only have big people in our homes,” said Jake.
“Do they like to play fetch?” asked Butch.
“Sometimes they do,” said Midge.
“Mine don't play fetch,” said Booker-T. “I don't think she knows that I like to play fetch.”
“Do you want to be our friend?” asked Jake.
“Can I be your friend?” asked Butch.
“We'd like that,” said Midge. “We have some other friends too, but they aren't here.”
“More cat friends?” asked Butch.
“We have another cat, a bird and a turtle,” said Midge.
“A bird and a turtle?” asked Butch surprised. “Wow! You have some different friends.”
“We do,” said Booker-T. “Midge showed us that we all are the same in different ways.”
“I would really like being your friend,” said Butch. “Lets go play in the pool.”
The three took off running to the pool with their new friend, Butch.