Her name’s Cocoa. Like Cocoa Krispies, the cereal. I bet she didn’t get too far away. She has stubby legs. You’ve seen a dachshund before, haven’t you? They look like hot dogs.
Hot dog dogs. Silly.
Is that her? No, just a paper bag. Why can’t people use trashcans? I’m glad I’m not looking for her by myself. It helps to have an extra set of eyes. Too bad I left my glasses at home. What was I thinking – a quick walk to the park with Cocoa, who needs glasses?
You don’t wear glasses, do you?
I didn’t think so. Eat your carrots, Vitamin A, good for your vision. I should’ve eaten more carrots when I was your age. But vegetables aren’t as yummy as pizza, are they?
Is pizza your favorite food? I like pizza, too. And spaghetti with meatballs. Spaghetti’s fun because it makes noise when you eat it. Maybe someone will figure out a way to give carrots a funny sound so we’d want to eat them more. Or make carrot spaghetti.
No, I agree. Gross.
Cocoa? Where are you, sweetie?
Let’s cross the street.
You’re right. You should ask your mother first. We could go back to the park. Except – poor Cocoa. It would be terrible if something happened to her. All these cars, some of them go so fast.
How about if we’re extra careful? I’ll hold your hand.
Look both ways. Okay. It seems safe. One two three and we’ll go...
That was easy. Do you think Cocoa’s playing Hide and Seek with us? She’s a funny dog sometimes. When she sees a cat food commercial on TV she barks. And she can do all kinds of tricks. Sit and speak and roll over. Wave her paw in the air as if she’s saying goodbye.
She doesn’t like carrots either.
She’ll like you, Nicholas. When we find her, you can rub her tummy. And give her a treat. Cocoa loves treats, especially the ones that taste like bacon. Have you seen that commercial? Bacon, bacon, bacon.
I know, it makes me laugh, too.
Do you think Cocoa is scared? I hope not. Why did I unclip her leash? It was just for a minute, less than a minute, you can’t imagine something bad happening in such a short amount of time. But she’ll turn up. And I won’t be mad at her even though I should be. I could never be mad at Cocoa.
There she is – up ahead, around the corner. By the mailbox. Can you see her? Let’s run, are you a fast runner, Nicholas? I bet you are, I bet you’re the fastest runner in your class.
Should I give you a head start?
First one to the mailbox.
Ready, set, go.
Guy Wood is a writer living in California.