Hi there! My name is Kiri. I’m a big black poodle with a curly topknot and a very long nose. I also have a silly tail that wags all the time. If I’m happy, my tail wags. If I want to get scratched behind my ear, my tail wags. If I want to eat, my tail wags. About the only time my tail is still is when I’m asleep. Sometimes it even wags then. I have lots of dreams about chasing cats, and then my feet twitch and my tail wags like crazy.
I call my human parents Mom and Dad. Mom has a good friend, Carol, who lives next door, and Carol has a fish called Bug.
Bug is a very unusual fish, because he’s not really a fish! Here’s how he came to live in a fish bowl.
Carol was at the lake swimming, and left her shoes lying near the water. When she came out of the water she didn’t want to get her shoes wet, so she just carried them to the car and drove home.
When she got home and put her wet shoes on the bathroom floor to dry, out popped this little black thing. Carol thought it was a bug and was about to squash it, but when she looked closer it looked like a fish. She ran into the kitchen and got a big bowl of water and scooped the little fish into it. Since she had thought he was a bug, Carol named him Bug.
Bug was a fish with an attitude, and because of it he had to live all alone in his fishbowl. If you leaned over his bowl he would jump up and butt you in the nose. He also had a bad habit of jumping out of his bowl. Carol tried to introduce him to a nice lady fish, but he made it clear he didn’t want to share his space with anyone.
Bug told me the reason for this strange behavior one day. He said, “Kiri, I’m not really a fish. I’m a toy dolphin. Not many folks know we exist, but we are just like other dolphins, only much smaller. We can breathe air when we’re out of the water, and we love to jump.”
When Carol left town, Bug would stay at our house. Mom had a place near the sink where he could look out and see his home across the way. On the tile surface he couldn’t make too much of a mess when he tried to jump out of his bowl at feeding time.
On one of Bug’s visits to our home, Mom and Dad went out for dinner, and they left the TV on to keep me company. As soon as they were out the door, Bug started splashing around and calling me to come talk to him. I was in the middle of an important cartoon, so I just ignored him. Before long, though, I thought I heard a funny noise over near Bug’s bowl, like a big plop! When I went to see what it was, I saw that Bug had jumped out of his bowl and was slipping and sliding his way across the room to the TV set. “ Oh, now you’ve made a mess,” I said. “ Look at the water all over the floor. I guess I’d better clean it up before Mom and Dad come back.” I slurped Bug’s puddles off the floor with my tongue. “Yuk, that tasted awful,” I said to Bug.
“I guess, since you’re already here, you might as well watch TV with me,” I told Bug, so I leaned down and stuck out my tongue for Bug to climb on. He slid on and I put him down on the couch beside me. We watched more cartoons and had a wonderful time. We talked about dogs, and fishes, and friends. Suddenly we realized Mom and Dad were at the door and we were going to be in big trouble if we didn’t get Bug back where he belonged.
“Here, jump into my ear and they won’t see you, since we’re both black. I’ll just stand over there by your bowl and you can jump back in when they’re not looking,” I told Bug.
Our plan was working well so far, except when Mom and Dad came in and I didn’t do my usual wiggle and jump to greet them. “I wonder what’s wrong with Kiri,” said Mom.
Soon Mom began to fix dinner and forgot about us. “Finally,” I whispered to Bug, “you’re beginning to tickle my ear with all your squirming around in there.” I strolled over near the sink, and when no one was looking, shook my head and threw Bug back in his bowl. “Boy, that was close,” I whispered to Bug.
After dinner the folks sat down to watch TV. Wouldn’t you know it, Mom sat on the squishy spot where Bug and I had been just a little while ago. Mom said, “Kiri. Did you have an accident? Come here, and let me talk to you.” Although I hadn’t had an accident since I was a puppy, I walked over with my head down so I didn’t have to look Mom in the eye. “She’ll suspect something, I just know it,” I said to myself.
As I walked toward her, Mom sniffed the air. “Something smells funny in here,” she said. Bending over me, she sniffed closer. “You smell like fish,” she said. “ I think I’d better check your ears, because an ear infection can smell like fish.”
With that, I decided I had to take some action. I flopped down on the floor where Dad had left his dirty socks this morning. I rolled over and over, getting a wonderful stinky sock smell all over me before I returned to Mom for that ear inspection. “No. Don’t come near me until you get Dad to clean you up,” Mom said. “I told him to stop leaving those smelly things lying on the floor.”
“I’m OK,” I told Mom with a look, “I just had a Bug in my ear.”
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