Story 68 Written by Ellen Thomasson
Illustrated by David Clyde Walters
It was a cold, winter day. Curled up on a soft, thick blanket inside his doghouse, Wire Dog dreamed of a warm, sunny summer day. His happy memory centered on a walk with Ellen. Beneath the sun that shone brightly overhead in a crystal-blue sky, a cool breeze passed over him. He trotted next to her as they explored a meadow of multi-colored flowers. Sniffing the air, he put his nose close to a blossom and inhaled the sweet fragrance.
Soon his thoughts wandered to his favorite bacon, beef, and cheese treats. They were bone-shaped and soft with a wonderful aroma. For supper, Ellen always put four of the treats in his bowl of meaty canned food. With his tail wagging happily, he was just about to chomp down on a treat when a noise woke him up and his dream ended abruptly.
Slowly opening an eye, he saw Scout the squirrel and Edgar the raven wedging their bodies inside the doghouse. Wire Dog yawned widely.
“Why are you interrupting my nap?” he asked, slowly raising his head.
Scout shivered uncontrollably. “It’s cold outside.”
“And very windy,” Edgar added, stomping his feet to get his circulation moving.
Wire Dog opened his other eye. He noticed both his friends had a layer of snow on their heads and backs.
“Is it snowing?” he asked drowsily, sitting up.
Scout’s teeth chattered. “Yes, a quite unexpected snowstorm.”
“The snow is falling fast and the wind is too strong for me to fly,” Edgar grumbled, flexing his icy toes.
Scout nodded and added, “And our nests are already snow filled. Can we stay with you until the storm passes?”
“Of course,” Wire Dog quickly replied.
Scout immediately moved to an empty corner and curled up into a tight ball. As his fur dried and he warmed, his eyes fluttered shut. Moments later, he drifted off to sleep and the sound of his even breathing filled the doghouse.
Edgar also became sleepy. Slowly his head lowered. With his head tucked beneath a wing and his eyes closed, he began to snore loudly.
Seeing his friends so relaxed and comfortable, Wire Dog lay down and went back to sleep.
In the backyard, the wind howled loudly and the snowflakes swirled madly around the doghouse, but the friends were warm and cozy, sheltered from the storm.
A few hours passed before Wire Dog stirred again. He could no longer hear the howling wind but could feel frosty air. Over Edgar’s shoulder, he could see a mound of snow that was partially blocking the doorway.
Edgar was also waking up.
“Has the snow stopped?” Wire Dog asked him, hoping it had.
Edgar craned his neck to poke his head out a small opening. The ground sparkled with a solid sheet of snow and dollops of it topped the trees, bushes, and fence. He glanced up at the now blue sky. No snowflakes were falling. Smiling, he turned his head to face Wire Dog.
“Wake up, Scout.” Wire Dog nudged Scout with his nose.
The squirrel’s dark eyes flew open. “What’s happened?”
“The snow stopped. Help me dig out.”
Edgar stepped aside and watched with interest. Wire Dog and Scout immediately went to work to clear away the icy mound. With their paws digging deep, the snow flew in all directions. Soon the doorway was open. The raven brushed stray bits of snow from his feathers and followed the others outside.
They stood by the doghouse and surveyed the magical winter scene that sparkled beneath the afternoon sun.
“It’s beautiful,” Wire Dog said in awe.
Scout rubbed his sore lower back. Digging away the wet, heavy snow was hard work.
He shaded his eyes from the sun and looked up at the tree branch that held his nest. “Yes, but I still need to get the snow out of my home.”
Wire Dog watched as Scout hopped over snow drifts to the oak tree, scurried up the trunk, and then leaped from branch to branch to reach his nest. Edgar easily soared upward with his strong wings flapping. They reached their nests at the same time.
Seconds later, snow flew over the edges of the nests and spiraled downward. Wire Dog stepped back to avoid getting soaking wet. However, he could not avoid the snowball that Scout hurled at him. It sailed down to hit Wire on the tip of his nose.
Laughing, Wire Dog licked the snow from his face. “No fair, you’re up too high for a snowball fight!” he shouted good-naturedly.
“I’ll be right there.” Scout scampered down the tree trunk and streaked across the crusted snow.
Edgar decided to get in on the fun. Clutching snowballs in his claws, he left his nest and flew in circles over the yard, slowly dropping close to the ground. He loosened his hold on a snowball and it fell with a splat on Scout’s back.
“Ouch!” complained Scout. He immediately hunkered down to make a snowball and get even.
Wire Dog was also busy rolling pawfuls of snow to form balls. Soon a fun snowball fight began, with Scout and Wire tossing snowballs at a swooping Edgar that was gleefully dropping his own icy ammunition.
After the battle raged for ten minutes, Edgar landed on the doghouse to catch his breath.
Also tired, Wire Dog and Scout looked at him a bit suspiciously.
“Truce?” Wire Dog asked hopefully.
Edgar bowed slightly. “Agreed.”
“I believe Edgar had an unfair advantage in the game with his ability to fly.” Scout flicked snow from his tail and chattered in discomfort.
Edgar ruffled his feathers at what he considered a complaint. “Perhaps but it was two against one.”
“Let’s make snow angels,” Wire Dog said quickly to change the subject.
Lying down with his back against the snow, he moved his arms and legs back and forth, as if he was doing jumping jacks.
Scout had seen Ellen and her friend Jane make snow angels last winter so he knew exactly what to do. Falling backward onto the ground, he joined Wire Dog.
Edgar flew off the doghouse roof and landed near the others. Although he had never made a snow angel, he caught on easily. He positioned himself in the snow and moved his feet and wings against it.
When they got up and looked down at the impressions in the snow, it was clear that Edgar’s attempt was the best.
“The wings gave you an advantage,” Scout said, irritably swishing his tail back and forth.
Wire Dog stepped between them. “It appears we all had advantages today. I had the advantage of help clearing snow from my doghouse, Edgar had the advantage of easily dropping snowballs from the sky, and Scout—well you had the advantage of being an expert at making very hard, very round snowballs.” He touched the tender spot on his nose.
Seeing the skeptical looks on his friends’ faces, Wire Dog quickly added, “But we all had the joint advantage of enjoying fun games with friends on a snowy day.”
Edgar clucked his beak and Scout rolled his eyes, but when they saw the big, sloppy grin appear on Wire Dog’s face, they could not help but laugh out loud in agreement.