Bernard and Sasha

Bernard, the dog, walked into the kitchen in the dark to get a drink of water. Glowing eyes greeted him from the counter. Sasha, the cat, had been looking out the window.   Bernard sat on the rug in front of the sink and yawned.

Sasha hissed.   “Close your mouth. I can smell your awful breath from here,” she said.

Bernard laughed and thumped his tail on the floor. “At least I don’t have cat breath.”

Sasha rolled her eyes. “Dogs tell the dumbest jokes.”   She turned and settled herself in front of the window again.

“What’re you looking at?” Bernard asked. He put his front paws up on the counter and tried to look over Sasha’s head. He could see the wind chimes being tossed around in the wind.

“It looks like another storm is coming in,” Sasha said. “Will winter ever end?”

“Of course it will,” Bernard said. “Maybe even tomorrow. It will be warm and muddy and perfect. We can go out and chase sticks and splash in puddles. It’ll be great.”

Sasha turned and pushed on his forehead with a paw, trying to move him off the counter.   “That sounds dreadful. Who wants to be wet? Why chase sticks?”

Bernard flopped back down on the rug. “So what do you want to do?”

“Chase birds, climb trees, sleep in the sun-warmed grass,” Sasha said. She wrapped her tail around her paws.

“I like to chase things too!” Bernard said. “Like sticks!”

“You already said that,” Sasha said. “And it’s not the same.”

“I know we both like to have our ears scratched too,” Bernard said.

“Well, that is true,” Sasha said.

“And we both love to go camping!” Bernard said. His tail thumped on the ground. He reached up to put his front paws on the counter again. “You love camping too, right Sasha?”

“I hate camping,” Sasha said. She put both paws on Bernard’s forehead and tried to push him off the counter. “Go away. Your breath still smells bad.”

Bernard laughed loudly and Sasha backed up and scrunched up her nose. Bernard dropped back down to the rug and laughed some more.   “Everybody loves camping, Sasha.   So of course you like camping.”

“I don’t,” Sasha said. She stretched along the counter so that she could look down over the edge at Bernard. “I don’t go at all if I can avoid it.”

“Camping is the best. I like to roll around in the piles of dead leaves and pine needles. Nothing smells quite like it. I can sleep out under the stars and maybe swim in a stream in the morning.”   Bernard sighed. “Maybe winter will be over tomorrow.”

Sasha licked a paw.   “I like to sleep when it’s safe and warm. I do like hunting under starry skies. But I want my normal breakfast at the normal time. I hate waiting.”

“Oh. It’s not nice to be hungry,” Bernard said.   “But camping doesn’t mean no breakfast.   You should come. Maybe tomorrow.”

The wind blew the wind chimes around and they rang wildly. The window panes rattled. Sasha jumped down from the counter. “It will be winter for a long time. It is too cold for camping. Even with your poorly-groomed overgrown fur coat.”

“My fur is just right. It keeps me warm,” Bernard said.   “You’re just jealous because your fur is short and you’re always cold.”

“Maybe I am jealous,” Sasha said. “Except that I hate it when my fur is messy, and yours is always messy.”

“At least I don’t have cat breath,” Bernard said.

“It’s better than dog breath,” Sasha said. She paused before she left the kitchen. “Maybe I will come camping sometime, if winter ever ends. Maybe I won’t.” She left, tail held high.

Bernard laughed.   “Cats!” he said. He stood up and stretched. “Winter will end. Maybe tomorrow.”