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Puppy Tails


As the moon goes to bed, the sun comes up

And here we meet a sleepy pup,

Who was walking through G-ville one bright sunny day,

Then saw The Villager and decided to stay.


The rain had finally calmed to a slow drizzle and Doodle Dog decided he’d had enough of this hiding-inside-business. Wet or not, thundering or not, scary or not, the floppy-eared puppy was going to venture outside and face the stormy rain once and for all.

Well, maybe…

As Doodle Dog poked his nose out the front door of the office, a heavy stream from the gutter overhead gushed down suddenly, soaking the tiny buds peeking out of the mulch in the flower beds and painting the front steps dark with a fresh coat of water. Maybe the porch was far enough, Doodle Dog thought. And so he stretched out his front legs and settled onto the soft welcome mat safe under the sturdy roof of the porch. Getting comfortable on the mat that was just the size of the little floppy-eared puppy, Doodle Dog curiously peered out across the wood plank floor, over the low railings and through the open space between the two decorative pillars that were not only pretty but that served a very important purpose – holding up the roof! Doodle Dog’s gaze continued on past these very pretty, very important pillars to the street and the sidewalk that bordered it, and curiously watched the hustle and bustle that didn’t even halt one little bit despite the sort of gloomy, sort of drippy, sort of just plain yucky weather.

Puddles big and small dotted the pavement of the street and the concrete of the sidewalk, causing mini water-hazards in the normal path that were acting as speed bumps for the townspeople who used that route as part of their morning commute. Doodle Dog couldn’t help but smile as he saw a lady in a business jacket and short skirt so busily chatting away on her tiny phone that she barely noticed the small lake having grown up in her path in time to side step it with her impossibly tall shoes with impossibly skinny heels. She made such a show of daintily avoiding the puddle as if it would undoubtedly drag her into a never-ending pit of goopy muck. Luckily, her well-dressed feet managed to stay dry. Doodle Dog couldn’t help but laugh as a little girl with bouncy hair and a yellow raincoat, her hand tightly holding her mother’s, purposely went out of her own unobstructed path to stomp into an inviting puddle just out of the way. The little girl firmly planted both skipping feet into the shallow watery hole. SPLASH! Her glee-filled giggle was contagious and Doodle Dog found himself catching a whiff of her excitement on the air even from all the way up on his nice dry cozy porch mat. Doodle Dog also found himself sort of wanting to go join the little girl in her quest to hop from puddle to puddle like a bunny who likes to swim or a fish that likes to jump or like a … er, well, like a little girl who likes to splash in puddles!

The floppy-eared puppy considered running out there to the sidewalk to try it for himself – there was that one sort of big, sort of small, sort of just right size puddle that looked verrrrrrry inviting – but he waited too long to take the leap and his chance was gone. A teenager on a bicycle tossing newspapers onto store stoops rode right through that inviting-looking puddle and several other of the pavement ponds, scattering water drops everywhere. Splashes went in all directions, making new wet spots and smaller collections of puddle drops where there hadn’t been any. Hey! That’s not the way to deliver newspapers! Doodle Dog thought. And that’s certainly not the way to jump in a puddle either. Hrrmph!

A little boy carrying his shoes in his hands followed the trail the bicycle had made from a safe distance of the newspapers being tossed. He jumped from the left puddle to the right puddle as though playing a very wet version of hop-scotch. The little barefoot boy didn’t have any chalk with him and there were no numbers on the squishy squares to direct the player, but he seemed to be having quite a bit of fun all the same with the imaginary game. Maybe next time it rained, Doodle Dog would play beside him, but for today the curious floppy-eared puppy was content to have his fun, nice and dry, people-and-puddle watching from his comfy mat on the cozy porch. Knowing how the weather was behaving recently, there would be plenty of rain to play in again soon enough!

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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.