Or: A Day of Good Deeds
Written by Tom Johnson
Illustrated by Elena Yalcin
It was Saturday morning at Ellen’s house. Mom was in the garden, and dad was mowing the lawn, and the neighborhood was noisy. Families were outside enjoying a warm summer day. Ellen and Wire Dog were glued to the television. Well, not literally glued, but they were both watching the morning cartoons with much interest.
Wire appeared fascinated, if fact. Even his tail wasn’t wagging, which was unusual for him. But then he was always serious when his heroine, Miss Moonbeam, was saving the world from some evildoer. In his imagination, Miss Moonbeam looked a lot like Ellen, but she wore a cape. It was a bright red one. Her costume was blue, and a knotted white cord held the cape to the epaulettes. The sleeves were short, as was the skirt, and there was a white moon image on her chest.
In this particular episode Miss Moonbeam, while resting in her secret cave on the moon, saw a scary scene on the planet below through the video screen. A robot was menacing the children of a small community, and they were trying to run from the metal monster.
The super heroine quickly left the cave and leaping into space, she flew at supersonic speed to Earth. Miss Moonbeam knew exactly where the little community was, and with super strength picked up the metal creature and carried it into space, leaving it on an asteroid where it would no longer be a menace to children.
With the Adventures of Miss Moonbeam over, Ellen turned off the television, and told Wire that she was going to her room. Of course, Wire kept thinking about his hero, and decided to go outside to play.
But something caught his eye in the kitchen. Mom had washed the breakfast dishes, and dad dried them with a towel that morning. In fact, dad had dried them with a red towel. It was too much for Wire to pass up. Wagging his tail as he rushed to the kitchen, he grabbed the towel and slung it over his back like a cape. Now he was a super hero, and he imagined fighting robots with the super heroine, and saving children in his community.
Maybe Miss Moonbeam would even take him back to the moon cave with her, he thought. I could help her save children and animals every day.
As Wire Dog went outside, mom tried to grab the red towel, but missed, and dad just laughed.
“Now what?” Mom wondered.
“Wire has something on his mind,” Dad told her. “We might as well let him play it out.”
A fire truck was going up the street with its lights flashing, but Wire saw his friend the squirrel digging in the yard, and wondered if he could help, “What are you looking for?” he asked.
“An acorn I buried last year,” Squirrel said. “It was here, I think, but I can’t find it now.”
Wire used his super sniffing, and within minutes sniffed out the acorn. His paws began digging until the object popped out of the ground.
“Thanks, Wire,” Squirrel said, as he plopped the acorn in his jaws, raced for the tree, and scampered up to his hollowed out nest.
Wire heard a siren, and looked up to see a police car, emergency lights flashing, go up the street.
Feeling like a super hero, Wire Dog went next door where he saw the neighbors outside playing Croquet with their son who was home from his military service overseas. He looked real nice in his uniform.
Sampson, the neighbor’s cat, was also playing with something near the foundation of the house. Now what is that cat doing by the house? He thought. So Wire Dog ran up behind the big cat as quiet as he could, hoping to catch Sampson at some mischief.
Like all cats, the suspicious nature of Sampson caused the fluffy feline to jump into the air, turn a flip, and then land back on its feet with a hiss.
“Why did you sneak up on me, Wire?” Sampson asked.
“I was just using my super speed,” Wire told him.
Seeing the red cape now, the cat understood what was going on. Sampson knew his neighbor had a big imagination, and was always into something. Once, he had even tried to climb a tree to rescue Ellen when he saw her sitting on a limb.
“Go away,” Sampson told him.
“What are you playing with?” Wire asked. “Maybe I can play with you.”
“A mouse. Junior brought it home from the Army for me,” the cat told him. “It’s made of rubber, and squeaks.”
“Ugh! Never mind,” Wire said. “I don’t want to play with a mouse, real or rubber.”
Leaving Sampson to his own amusement, Wire mumbled, “Cats!” Then went looking for other good deeds he could do.
There was another siren, and this time Wire saw an ambulance go up the street, the emergency lights flashing.
Wire continued around the house until he came to the backyard. Red Bird and Blue Jay were trying to get a drink from the fountain.
“Hi Jay. Hi Red,” Wire said to his friends. “What are you doing?”
“We’re trying to get a drink, Wire,” Red told him, “but the water is off and the fountain is dry.”
Wire saw instantly that here was another good deed he could do, and turned the water on with his strong jaws. Red and Jay jumped right into the bowl and splashed water everywhere, including on Wire.
“Hey!” Wire shook off the water, “You’re getting me all wet.”
“Sorry, Wire,” Jay said. “We also wanted a bath.”
Wire knew that dad had put the fountain up in the back yard for birds and squirrels, and he had often seen Red and Jay bathing in it. Besides, he didn’t really mind getting a little wet.
Deciding to leave the birds to their fun, Wire was surprised when something frightened them, and they flew away with another wild splash of water all over him once more. Just as he was about to scold his friends for their reckless behavior, something else caught his eye.
Something bright red and blue, and it was walking right towards him.
Wire Dog’s hero was smiling as she came forward, and all he could do was stare in awe at this hero of heroes. Miss Moonbeam was his number one idol. She was actually in his yard, and coming towards him. And he couldn’t say a word. He was speechless.
“Hello, Wire,” she said in that wonderful voice. “I watched you this morning on my video screen in the moon cave, and felt I wanted to meet you.”
“Youaremyhero!” he finally blurted out so fast the sentence sounded like one word.
“Well, that’s really why I wanted to talk to you, Wire. This thing about me, and being your hero, and wanting to emulate me; well, you did several good deeds this morning, and I’m proud of you. However, while doing things for your friends, you didn’t notice several other real heroes, and they were all around you.”
“I did?” Wire asked, wondering what he had missed, and how.
“There was the family’s son next door, and then the police car, ambulance, and fire truck that went down your street,” she said. “The men and women in the armed services, who stand up for their country, and the police, the medics, and the firefighters; they don’t wear capes, but these men and women save lives every day. They are the true heroes. It’s okay to fantasize about caped heroes, but remember and honor those that serve your community.”
Wire understood now. He was so anxious to do good deeds that he failed to see the rest of the world around him, and all the other heroes right in his own community.
Knowing that he failed to recognize the heroes around him, Wire hung his head, but felt the soft hand of Miss Moonbeam on him. Looking up, he saw her still smiling, and somehow knew that she wasn’t angry with him. She was just teaching him a lesson.
“Keep doing good deeds Wire Dog, that’s what real heroes really do. Now go back around the house. I don’t want you to see me fly off. It might give you other ideas. And flying can be a dangerous thing, even for heroes.”
Nodding, Wire Dog turned and was walking away when something struck him as odd. Why did Miss Moonbeam look so much like Ellen? Could Miss Moonbeam be Ellen’s secret identity? He turned quickly to ask, but she was already gone.
Removing the red cape, he ran back around the house. Seeing Junior was still playing Croquet with his parents, Wire went to him, his tail wagging. The soldier reached down to pet him, but Wire licked his hand instead.
Wire went back in the house to find Ellen, knowing that his good deeds had finally turned into something more. He had honored a real hero. THE END
About the Author:
Tom Johnson’s dad was a cowboy and cook, and this gave his family an itinerant lifestyle. He changed schools often, as his dad’s jobs were moved. His dad wanted him to follow in his footsteps, but a cowboy’s life didn’t appeal to him. Instead, during his high school years, Tom dreamed about becoming an entomologist. He loved biology and math, but was weak in other subjects. He read every book he could find on insects, reptiles, and arachnids, as well as paleontology. However, his life changed when he joined the Army and spent a 20-year career in law enforcement. Afterwards, he and his wife started the publishing imprint, FADING SHADOWS, and published a hobby magazine for 22 years, and several genre titles for nine years. He was a voracious reader from an early age, and has never stopped reading for pleasure. In his own books readers will often find something about his love, zoology, whether insects, reptiles, or saber-tooth cats. If readers would like to learn more about the subject of paleontology, his YA novel, THREE GO BACK, features three teenage girls who accidentally go back in time through the prehistoric epochs of our past, and come away with knowledge and adventure they’ll never forget.
Tom’s Blog http://pulplair.blogspot.com
Tom’s Face Book Pagehttps://www.facebook.com/tomginger.johnson
Tom’s Books http://jur1.brinkster.net/index.html
Tom’s Amazon Page http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008MM81CM
ALTUS PRESS http://www.altuspress.com
FIRST REALM PUBLISHINGhttp://www.firstrealmpublishing.com/tom-johnson.html
About the Illustrator:
Elena Yalcin was born in Russia. She discovered her love of painting when she was a young child. She attended an art school for five years, it was her second home. In 2010 she immigrated to Canada and began painting again. She is happily married and has two children. Actually she is an oil artist, but since she became a mother and housewife she decided to try the new field of illustration. Her illustrations are whimsical, full of bright vivid colours and movement. She enjoys adding small details to her art. These details encourage viewers to look at the pictures more and more making new discoveries each time. Her oil paintings can be found at:http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/elena-yalcin…