The Dog in a Beret

It was snowy and cold and the children were bored. They stared out the front window and watched the snow fall.   And then Michael saw something strange. “Look, Jane,” Michael said. “It’s a dog in a beret. We should invite him in!”

“Yes, let’s!” Jane said.

They raced to the door and threw it open. “Come here, dog in a beret. Come inside and play!” Michael said.

“Do come,” Jane said. “We’ll have lots of fun today.”

The dog stopped and looked at them. “ I don’t know you, you don’t know me. This isn’t safe at all. Where are your parents? Don’t you have safety rules to follow?”

“I completely agree,” a soft bubbly voice said behind them. “But they never listen to me.”

“When the cat came to play, everything went fine,” Jane said.   Michael pouted.

“Why don’t you just play a nice game or read a book?” The dog asked. He straightened his beret.

Michael sat up straighter and smiled. “Yes, that’s just it! A game!”

“Do you have any things in a box?” Jane asked.

“I don’t have any games with me. I was just out for a walk. Now I really must be going,” the dog said.

“Goodbye,” said the burbly voice. “Now close the door! You’re letting the cold in!”

“Wait! Stop!” Jane yelled.   “We’ll come outside to play!”

“Yes! Do you have paint? We could color all the snow!” Michael said.

“This really is ridiculous. Fine.   Let’s build a snowpup,” the dog said.   “But you must dress warmly first.   Coats, mittens, scarves and hats.”

“The cat was funner,” Michael muttered.

“It’s more fun!” the voice said. “And no he wasn’t. The cat was a menace.”

“This is better than watching snow fall,” Jane said. “Come on, Michael.”

The children dressed warmly and came out and waited. “Why are you just looking at me?” The dog in a beret asked.

“We’re waiting for you to do something,” Jane said.

“Don’t you know how to play in the snow?” the dog asked.

“Well, yes, but you’re here now,” Michael said. “Do something funny.”

The dog rolled its eyes. “Each of you go roll some snow into a ball. You really need to learn to entertain yourself.”

“He sounds just like mom,” Jane whispered.

“Or the fish,” Michael whispered back.

“I can hear you,” the dog said. “Get going. The snow won’t roll itself.”

“Fine.” Michael said. Off the children went. Pretty soon, the dog was directing them as they assembled the snow pup. They found leaves for ears, a stick for a tail, and rocks for eyes.

“I think that was kind of fun,” Jane said. “What’s next?”

“Now you go in and warm up and maybe read a book,” the dog in a beret said, brushing snow off his paws. “And I finally go home.”

“So, do we need to smash the snow pup?” Michael asked.

“You can if you’d like, but there’s no need for it,” the dog said.

“But then mom will know!” Jane said.

“You shouldn’t really be keeping secrets from your mom. If you’re not supposed to play outside, it will be hard to hide anyways. Your hats and coats and scarves and mittens are wet. There are footprints everywhere in the yard. Even if the snowpup is smashed, the snow will never look the same,” the dog said.

“And the fish will tell,” Michael said. His shoulders slumped.

“I think this talk with your mother is long overdue anyway. Good luck! Good bye!” the dog said. And then he left, with a tip of his beret.

“He really wasn’t very fun,” Michael said.

“Yeah.” Jane said. “Let’s go inside.”