Monday, July 3, 2017

The Doggy in the Window

"Come on Arabella!" demanded her older sister, Alina as they hurried along the sidewalk on their way to school. "We're going to  be late." Alina hated the way Arabella was always dawdling on the way to school. One minute she was following Alina, the next minute she was off picking a flower or staring at the cars driving past or just standing still lost in a daydream. Alina looked around and Arabella was nowhere to be found. Finally, she spotted her little sister, she sighed  and trudged after her.

Arabella was actually on the neighbor's lawn peering longingly in the window.

"Arabella!" screamed Alina approaching her. "What are you doing?"

"Look!" exclaimed Arabella without bothering to turn around. She pointed to the window where a little white dog was pressed up against the glass. "Isn't he cute?" she cooed glancing longingly at the dog.

"Yeah, sure." replied Alina abruptly. "Let's go. We're going to be late for school." She dragged her sister away from the window and off toward school.

The next day, on the way to school, when they walked by the house where the dog had been, Arabella hurried over before Alina could stop her. "Oh, look!" she cried excitedly. "There he is again!" She pointed to the window where the little dog was frantically pawing at the glass as if he wanted to get out and join his new friend. "He likes me." declared Arabella contently. "I'm going to call him Quincy."

"How can you name a dog that you don't even own?" inquired Alina. She thought Quincy was a dumb name for a dog anyway.

Arabella just glared at her sister, but didn't reply.

"Anyway, it's time to go to school."  Alina added dragging her sister off toward the sidewalk.

After that every day on the way to school, Arabella would insist on stopping at the window and visiting the little dog. She talked about him all the time as if he really were her dog. "I wonder how Quincy is doing today." she would say or "I bet Quincy would like a nice juicy bone."

Then, one day, they stopped by the window and the little dog wasn't there. Arabella knocked gently on the window, but the little dog still didn't come.

"Stop that." Alina told her worriedly pulling her away from the window.  She was afraid a person would come to the window instead. They didn't know who lived in the house and what they were liked they could be mean or crazy or something. Besides, whoever they were she was sure they wouldn't want Arabella knocking on their window.

"Where's Quincy?" fretted Arabella. "He's always here to greet me in the mornings."

"I'm sure he'll be back tomorrow." Alina assured her in a more sympathetic voice.

The next day, the little dog wasn't back. He wasn't there the day after that nor the day after that either.

By now, even Alina was getting worried. She hoped nothing happened to the little dog. She would hate to have to break it to Arabella if it had.

Finally one day as they were passing the house, an elderly woman came out of the door. Before, Alina could stop her Arabella hurried over. "What happened to Quincy?!" she demanded to know.

"What?" asked the woman with a startled look on her face.

"I'm sorry, M'am." replied Alina rushing over. "We were wondering what happened to your dog. We used to see him when went by one the way to school every morning. My sister became kind of fond of him."

"You mean, Penny, my dog?" replied the woman suddenly understanding. "She went to live with my grandchildren because I couldn't take care of her anymore."

"Oh." replied Arabella softly. She was glad the little dog was going to be in a home with children to play with but she sure was going to miss Quincy. She meant Penny. It was so hard to get used to the fact that Quincy's name was Penny, and he was a she.

"Do your grandchildren visit a lot?" asked Arabella eagerly. Maybe, she could still Qu-Penny, when they come to visit.

The woman shook her head. "Not as often as I'd like." she replied. "They live in another state." She looked sad when she said it.

Suddenly, Arabella knew she wasn't the only one who would miss the little dog. "Don't you have somebody to help you take care of Penny so then you wouldn't have to give her away?"

"I live by myself." the woman replied.

"Aren't you lonely?" asked Arabella.

"Arabella!" screamed Alina trying to drag her way. Sometimes, Arabella could be so embarassing.

Arabella ignored her sister and waited for the woman to reply.

"Sometimes." admitted the woman. Arabella reminded her so much of her own granddaughter. It brought a tear to her eye.

"I bet you miss your grandchildren a lot, don't you." sympathized Arabella. "And, I'm sure they miss you too. My grandma lives far away too, and I know I miss her. I could come visit you sometimes when you are feeling lonely and missing your grandchildren."

"Arabella!" shrieked Alina in horror. This time Arabella had definitely gone too far.

The woman didn't seem horrified at all, however. In fact, she seemed quite pleased and smiled brightly at Arabella. "I'd like that." she said. "and you can visit me when you are missing your Grandma."

"I'd like that too." replied Arabella. "My name is Arabella." she said putting out her hand.

"My name is Jane." replied the woman shaking it.

After that, Arabella visited Jane all the time. She was like another granddaughter to Jane, and Jane was like another grandmother to her. She even got to meet Jane's real grandchildren when they came to visit, and she liked them too. Sometimes, when they came they even brought Penny and Arabella got to see her.  She was always happy to see the little dog that had brought her and her surrogate grandmother together. She was convinced the little dog had done it on purpose. "You didn't want Jane to be lonely, did you? " she said to the little dog.

"That's crazy." replied Alina when Arabella told her she was convinced that Penny had purposely brought she and Jane together.

Arabella didn't care what Alina thought. She knew.

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