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Jack & The Puppies
By Waddy Bond
E-Book (available as PDF files)
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Jack had gotten into trouble saying somebody else would be glad to do things, without finding out whether they could or whether they wouldn`t. For instance, he allowed Mrs Clinton to pick all the flower buds Daddy had been planning to enter in “The Rose Show” he also volunteered that his mother will drive his class mates to the amusement park ............volunteering other people`s help without seeking for their consent.
When Jack walked into the fifth grade room Ruthie Mayor was talking to Mrs. Adams. Mrs Adams looked worried, in fact she looked distracted. Jack thought distracted was a good word. His mother was always being distracted. And Jack had figured out that being distracted was doing what Mrs. Adams was trying to do now. Make your mind go two ways at once. Mrs. Adams was trying to listen to Ruthie and trying to think something else at the same time. Jack wondered what on earth Ruthie could be saying to Mrs. Adams. He went over to his desk and was going to sit down when Steve hollered “Hey, Jack,” and something up for him to see. Jack went over to Steve’s desk and looked. “What is it?” he asked. “It’s a spearhead,” said Steve. An Indian spearhead. My uncle sent it to me. He went back in a cave near where he lives. He went back inside about a fifty miles, I guess, and he found all these good Indian things and bones and stuff. And he sent me this. It must be a thousand years old, my uncle says” George Dickson leaned over Steve’s shoulder and looked too. “I bet it’s not much good, “he said. It’s broken.” Steve laughed loudly. “Dumb head, it wouldn’t be a spearhead if it wasn’t chipped.” he cried. George drew his heavy eyebrows down and turned purple the way he always did when he got mad. “You’re the dumb head,” he retorted. “I wasn’t talking about the chipped-out places. I was talking about that!” He pointed to the corner of the upper-end, where a small piece really was broken off. Steve opened his mouth to say something else and then the bell rang and Mrs. Adams said, “George, would you open that last window?” and everybody else scrambled to get to his desk or put his books away or take them out or do whatever it was they wanted to do before Mrs. Adams called the roll. And as soon as she had called it she started looking distracted again. “Now listen,” she said as she put the roll book down on her desk. “Ruthie’s mother cann’t takes her car to the Amusement park tomorrow afternoon she formerly planned to take five people. Can any of you whose mother offered to drive squeeze another passenger or two into your cars?” Everybody looked at Mrs. Adams and finally James Ford said he guessed he could. “Oh, James,” said Mrs. Adams. “You’re already taking seven people and that’s really too many.” “May be some of them will be sick tomorrow,” James said hopefully. Mrs. Adams frowned. “I don’t think we ought to count on that,” she answered. And then Jack held up his hand. “I’ll take them,” he said. Or anyway my mother will. We’ve got a nine-passenger station wagon. Mrs. Adams smiled. “That would be great,” she said. “That would mean James’s mother would only have to take six people in her car. But I think you’d better ask your mother first, Jack. It might not be convenient.” “Oh, she’ll be glad to, Mrs. Adams,” Jack answered. Jack had been absent the day Mrs. Adams asked for cars to take the class to the Amusement park. And when he had found out about it and told his mother he was going with James Ford, she had said it was too bad Jack hadn’t been there in the class that day because she would have been glad to drive. “Well, it would certainly be a help,” said Mrs. Adams. “Indeed many mothers are taking their children to the Reading Center tomorrow afternoon, and there’s the junior high base ball game and that makes it hard to find cars. I do appreciate that, Jack.” “Sure,” said Jack. He felt very good and generous and it didn’t matter that five minutes later he had to say he couldn’t do this new kind of arithmetic problem Mrs. Adams had been talking about yesterday. When Jack got home, his cat, Tobby, was lying asleep in the sun on the sidewalk. He walked over to Tobby and he woke up and rolled over on his back and showed his fat white stomach. Sometimes Jack worried about him. Last week he had measured him and he was twenty-two inches long and sixteen inches around. Now, he picked him up, and he certainly was heavy. May be he ought to go on a diet or something. But he bet he wouldn’t eat tomatoes and lettuce, the way his mother did when she went on a diet. In the house his mother was sitting at the dinning room table but she wasn’t eating tomatoes and lettuce or anything else. She was cutting leaves and birds and flowers out of gold paper. The public library was having a fifth anniversary tea and mother was one of the ladies who were helping to make the decorations. “Mother!” Jack called “Do you think Tobby ought to go on a diet?” “Goodness” said mother, holding up something she had just cut out, “do you think there really are butterflies shaped like this? It looks more like some kind of insulator to me.” “But do you think so?” persisted Jack. “He’s awful heavy.” “He ought to do more work instead of lying around sleeping all day,” said mother severely. “It ought to help me with these decorations – and so should you, Jack. I’m never going to have them finished on time. Mrs. Wood wants me to bring them over tomorrow afternoon and start making them into ropes and garlands, and I’ve only done the birds and about half of the flowers. And these awful butterflies”. Jack had a sudden sinking feeling somewhere under his third shirt button. “Tomorrow afternoon!” he cried, dropping Tobby on the floor. “All afternoon?” Mother turned and looked at him very steadily. Finally she said, “Jack, what have you done now?” “Well, gosh, you said you’d be glad to, “ said Jack. “And I just told Mrs. Adams what you said” “Be glad to do what? “Exclaimed mother. “Do try to make sense.” “You said you’d be glad to drive some of my class mates to the Amusement park tomorrow afternoon, “Jack said carefully. “And Ruthie’s mother can’t do it tomorrow, her car’s in the shop. And Mrs. Adams said who could do it and nobody could do it, and we’ve got a station wagon and you said you’d be glad to and………….” “Oh, Jack”, said mother reproachfully. “When are you ever going to learn? How many times have you gotten into trouble saying somebody else would be glad to do things, without finding out whether they could or whether they want to or………………….” Jack put his bag down on one of the dinning room chairs and sat on the other chair. “I’ll help,” he offered. I’ll cut out butterflies all afternoon and all night and everything. Gosh, somebody had to help Mrs. Adams out. There wasn’t anybody else who could do it.” Mother sighed. “I’d love to have your help,” she answered. “Flowers are what I need - here’s the pattern. But helping out won’t change the fact that I do have to go to Mrs. Wood’s tomorrow afternoon. Fortunately Daddy will be home early so he can take you to the Amusement park".
Waddy Bond is a member of a gifted & successful family of writers, and has written many Adult fictions Stories Published in teen’s magazines in Nigeria. The children stories written by him has established him in the children’s book field. He is the author of “Morris and Wounded Sparrow “published by Unique Children Books Inc. However, majority of his children stories are- characterized by his long interest in nature & European History. Ideas for my stories come from various sources, things children say, Newspaper articles, things i see. But my interest in writing for children came largely from my experience in reading stories to them during my years of teaching. I watch their expression and learned to detect at which point in a story the children`s interest began to lag. I learned that if boys and girls like a story, they will want to find out what happens next. Then they will try to read the book for themselves.
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