Story 14 Wire Dog Floats a Boat

Written by David Walters
Illustrated by Alice Jones

In her science class, Ellen learned all about buoyancy, which is what makes some things float and other things sink in liquids like water. For a fun experiment, all the students made a little toy boat out of wood. Then they floated their boats in an eaves trough that the teacher brought to school for the learning activity. Then, when the experiment was all finished, Ellen was allowed to bring the little boat home. Wire Dog was excited when Ellen showed him the little boat and he barked three times. Ellen asked Wire Dog if he wanted to see how well the little wooden boat could float in water, and Wire Dog barked again.

Then Ellen realized that she had a little problem. Her family had eaves troughs, alright, but like every other house on the street, the eaves trough was firmly attached near the roof of the house. You see, an eaves trough is for catching the rain water that runs off the roof of your house.

Ellen looked up at the eaves trough then back down at her boat, then back up at the eaves trough. Ellen knew she couldn’t climb up to the trough to float the boat. And even if she could, Wire Dog would not be able to get up there anyway. She asked her dad if he could take the eaves trough down so she could float the boat in it like they had done at school. But her dad just laughed and said that eaves troughs were hard to take down and put up again; and that she would have to think of some other way to float the boat.


So Ellen sat down on the steps and began to think. Wire Dog sat down right beside her and he started thinking too. Together they started thinking of things that hold water. First they thought of a cup, because that holds water, but it is way too small for a boat. Then they thought of an ice cream pail, but that is still too small to have much fun with a toy boat. Then they really thought hard and tried to imagine something bigger than a cup and bigger than a pail that holds water.

Finally Wire Dog grew tired of thinking. He jumped off the steps and trotted over to the garden shed to look for a bone or stick or something else to play with. Ellen watched him and wondered what he was thinking. “Maybe he remembers something in the garden shed that holds water,” thought Ellen, so she got up off the steps and followed Wire Dog to the shed. Ellen opened the shed door and looked around. Soon her eyes spied the wading pool that her father stored away in the shed.

“What a smart dog,” said Ellen as she pulled the wading pool out of the shed and placed it on the lawn. Soon she had the garden hose in the wading pool and was watching it fill with water. They didn’t need much water for the little wooden boat, but before long Ellen and Wire Dog were having a good time floating the little craft in the wading pool.

Again Ellen told Wire Dog what a smart dog he was for thinking of the pool in the storage shed. Wire Dog just barked a happy bark and jumped into the pool with the boat. Soon the whole family was laughing as they watched Wire Dog and Ellen having a good time floating the boat.

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