Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Hide and Seek (08/07/08)
TITLE: Lost and Found
By Annora Williams
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She carefully guides the dogs down the street to their favorite play spot. It is a slow journey as each dog takes its turn to stop, sniff and inspect objects along the way. The large black and white Dalmatian has an affinity for trees and bushes and makes several stops along the way. The two shelties playfully nip at each other while the chocolate dachshund yips at each bug that flies by. A butterfly passes by and catches the eye of the German shepherd. Emily quickly turns her wrist to get a better grip on him and maneuvers him back on track.
This last distraction is just what Boomer has been waiting for. The small white poodle takes advantage of Emily’s lack of attention for a moment to slip out of his collar. He has seen the beautiful shade provided by Mrs. Boll’s rose bushes and is anxious to see if it is as restful as it appears. He trots over to her yard and stops. His ears perk up and he glances back as if to check to see if Emily has noticed his absence yet. After a moment he seems satisfied and continues on his way- unseen and free at last. In a matter of minutes he has settled himself into the cool dirt where he loves to lie down when he is able to escape.
Emily and company reach the park before she realizes that one of her leashes no longer has an occupant. Her heart stops then begins to race as she notices that one of her friends has gone AWOL. She looks around frantically looking for the small, white escape artist. He is nowhere to be seen. Knowing that she can not leave the other dogs alone to search for the missing pup, she tries to decide what to do. Her mind does a mental search of places she knows the poodle likes to hide.
Luck is on her side when she hears a familiar voice, “Hey, Em, what’s up? Looks like you have your hands full this afternoon. You seem kind of frazzled.”
“Hi, Lila. I am, Boomer has played Houdini and slipped out of his collar. It must have happened when I was trying to keep Monster from chasing down the butterfly. I’ve got to find him. “
“How can I help? Do you need me to watch these furballs while you look for the tiny Houdini?”
“That would be great.” Emily untangles herself from the leashes as Lila reaches over to take them. With a quick wave of thanks to her friend, she dashes back down the street to retrace her steps and try to figure out where the poodle may have gone. Her mind has created a mental list of his past hideouts and she begins her search.
He is not under the weeping willow in the Hales’ yard and has not curled up in the cedar bark by the pool in the Hodges’ back yard. The small area under the porch at her house is empty. After looking at two more places, she begins to get frantic. Where has he disappeared to?
Suddenly a thought occurs to her and she makes a beeline for the home of Mrs. Boll. She ducks around the side of the house to where the award winning roses are climbing the trellises and displaying their colorful blooms. A shot search produces a sleeping Boomer. Emily scoops him up and nuzzles his warm fur noticing the perfume of the surrounding blooms as she does so. She quietly reprimands him for his disappearing act as she tucks him under her arm to carry him back to group waiting to play.
She is thankful to have located him but knows it will not be the last time he will sneak away. For now he is found and safe back in the fold of her arms. All is well until he decides to stray again. And when he does she will search him out as she does time after time.
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