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Puppy Tails

Snowflakes landed one by one outside the office window, each one adding to the smooth blanket of white covering the town like a new cozy comforter keeping the grass warm. But the weather was anything but warm as the snow continued to drift down, some icy flecks floating lazily on a gentle wind before landing on a small pile, while other more menacing tufts sped straight to the ground with a very purposeful thud. Well, with as much “thud” as a soft little snowflake could do, even if it was a tough, menacing one.

Doodle Dog curled up in his own new fuzzy blanket and gnawed thoughtfully on his new chewy bone while he looked through the window to the quiet wintry streets. Everyone must have already gone home for the day because the town was calm and peaceful. The other neighborhood creatures must be hibernating or tucked in their own warm beds. Doodle Dog hoped that all the other dogs and cats around the world had a soft, warm, fuzzy blanket just like his to curl up in and a chewy bone to enjoy.

As the floppy-eared puppy watched out the window to the serene streets uncluttered by activity, something on the glass caught his attention from the corner of his eye. There may not have been any movement THROUGH the window, but there was something moving ON the window! Doodle Dog looked closer at the windowpane and the clear glass above it sparkling like the fluffy flecks of diamond snow outside. There, just in the corner where the frame met the glass, was a tiny little crack making its way up and to the center of the small window. No, not a crack… as Doodle Dog moved closer for a better look, his breath made little foggy clouds where the mark was starting to form. His nose bumped up against the glass – ow! – so he sat back in his blanket and watched as he soon noticed it wasn’t a crack at all, but instead it was a line of ice moving from side to side and over itself, making a beautiful intricate pattern as if a spider on ice skates was making a crystal web. The ice line seemed to move on its own, up and down to the center of the window and back over to the side, and soon a pattern emerged that looked sort of like what Doodle Dog thought a snowflake might be if he could see it way up close. It reminded Doodle Dog of the designs left behind when all the little kids skated on the frozen pond in the park, the lines going nowhere in particular but leading everywhere at the same time. The floppy-eared puppy imagined that there was a tiny skater zipping gracefully around the window, leaving behind a special sketch drawn with glittering ink and shining in the sunlight that reflected off the white snow outside and eventually settled onto the icy canvas.

The flitting frost continued to form shapes in all sizes, big and small, simple and elaborate, until the entire space was covered in the dazzling display and Doodle Dog couldn’t see out the window anymore! Watching the pretty patterns was making him sleepy, so the little floppy-eared puppy curled back into his blanket and tucked his nose under the corner where it would be warm. He imagined the tiny invisible skater on the window glass and then thought of the tiny skaters on the frozen pond in the park. Doodle Dog knew some of them had dreams of growing up to be very, very good skaters that would make even more beautiful designs on the ice. And as he began to nod off to his nap, Doodle Dog thought of all the dreams that his friends in the quiet town might have had come true in the past year and he hoped that all their new dreams would come true in the new year too. And then he began to snooze, and dream… and dream… and dream…

 

In addition to her role as a contributing reporter for the Weekly Villager, Mialie T. Szymanski is the creator of the bi-weekly column “Puppy Tails”. This children’s story time column stars Doodle Dog, a floppy-eared puppy who has an optimistic perspective of the world around him. Szymanski's picture book “Doodle Dog Enjoys the Day” chronicles a day in the life of this “paws”itive pup. The upcoming read-aloud anthology “Puppy Tails: Adventures of Doodle Dog” is a collection of the columns and illustrations as seen in The Weekly Villager over the last year.

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