Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Cat and Dog (09/04/14)
- TITLE: Vinegar or Honey?
By Darleen Coon
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Suddenly, the door flew open and his daughter, Natalie, rushed in swinging a baseball bat, hair sticking straight up, wearing her pajamas. “What…was..THAT?” She demanded, eyes darting around the room.
“Sorry sweetie. It was just me scaring off unwanted pests.” He stood and gently took the baseball bat from her.
She drug a hand through her mussed hair and exhaled. “What a relief! I thought you were being attacked by a pack of wild dogs.”
“Nah, Sophie and I entertain ourselves by watching for folks who are letting their dogs do their business in my yard. I have it rigged that when they stop for more than 10 seconds, speakers under the bushes go off with the ‘pack of wild dogs’ sound track. Scares the bejeebers out of them every time.” He chuckled.
Natalie drew her eyebrows together. “THAT is not going to happen again while I’m living here. You scared ten years off of my life.”
“Aw, honey! ” He whined.
“Dad, there’s got to be better things to do with your time. How about volunteer work, joining a club, or dating? Anything would be better than sitting here looking out the window waiting for your next victim.” She grabbed the baseball bat and flounced back out the door.
He held Sophie up to eye level and mumbled, “Miss Smartypants thinks she knows everything. How else am I going to keep my yard from being a pit stop for every canine in town?”
From down the hallway Natalie shouted. “I heard that, old man. I want the ‘pack of wild dogs’ unassembled to-day. Got it?”
“Yeah, yeah” He grumbled.
He said under his breath. “If I’d know she was such a party pooper I never would’ve let her move back in.”
Later at breakfast, Natalie breezed in dressed for work. “While I was in the shower, I was thinking, and I may have come up with a solution to your pooch problem.”
He poured her a cup a coffee and sat it in front of her. “Oh, and what pray tell is your idea?”
“Well, mom always said that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. I thought that it might be better to reward people and their pets for not going in your yard.” She explained.
Sarcastically he said. “Am I supposed to sit on my front porch and bribe them with money not to crap in my yard?”
She stirred her coffee. “Well, not money. But I think you’ve got the gist. I think we should put a sign out front. ‘There’s a prize on the stoop if you don’t poop’. Then I think you should put a container of doggie biscuits on the front steps as a reward.”
He snorted. “That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. People shouldn’t have to be rewarded for doing the right thing. It should be common courtesy.”
“Regardless, I’m getting a container of doggie biscuits today and we’re going to try it.” She said with finality.
She found an adorable chocolate lab container at the local pet store, which she loaded with little biscuits. She made the sign and hung it on the lamp post by the sidewalk then set the biscuits on the steps. When all was in place, she called her dad out. “Well, what do you think?”
“I still think you’re a spoil sport.” He shook his head and trudged back into the house.
The next morning he was sitting on the porch, with Sophie curled up beside him. He looked up to see a white-haired woman with a small dog on a leash walking up to the treat container.
“What a wonderful idea!” She gestured to the container.
He stepped off the porch and held out his hand. “I’m George, I don’t believe I’ve seen you in the neighborhood before.”
She took his hand and squeezed gently. “I’m Maude Fly.”
“Well, Maude I’m very pleased to meet you. Would you care to sit?” He pointed to the wicker chair on the porch.
She noticed Sophie and exclaimed. “Oh, you’re a pet owner too! You must come with me to the Cat and Dog Club. We’re always looking for new members.”
He grinned. “Sounds like fun.”
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