The sky was clear as Doodle Dog padded along the sidewalk, no clouds or hot air balloons to be found today! He had somewhere on his mind – some place very special he hoped – and he was determined to sniff it out. When Doodle Dog had finally peered over the basket edge and spotted all the places he’d been and yet even more spaces to visit, one particularly curious meadow caught his eye from way up in the sky. So the floppy-eared puppy, now safely on the ground, set out to find this new place, hoping that it was just as curious and special on the land as it was from the air.
Doodle Dog knew where his favorite meadow was, and had even recognized it from way up above, but he remembered that the new meadow seemed quite far away from his usual places so he set off in the completely opposite direction from where he usually went. Through bushes and thickets, around tree trunks and flower beds, the floppy-eared puppy went this way and that, so sure that he was headed in the right direction. He didn’t know exactly how he knew that he knew it, but he certainly knew that he knew it! Sure enough, as Doodle Dog turned the corner around a particularly unusual-looking tree, he was also certain that he could hear the faintest gleeful sounds floating on the air toward him. He couldn’t see just who – or just what! – was making the excitement that echoed off the bushes and thickets and tree trunks and flowers surrounding the particularly unusual-looking tree, but as Doodle Dog crept ever closer he knew he would soon find out.
There, just past the bushes and thickets, and just past the tree trunks and flowers, and even just slightly past the unusual-looking tree, was the curious meadow the floppy-eared puppy had seen from way up high. Except it was down below and now so was he! Doodle Dog stood still for a moment, gazing in awe at the field in front of him. Rolling hills of grass spread with layers and layers of every kind of colorful flora and fauna imaginable served as a lush bed for pillows of the same bushes, thickets and flowers through which Doodle Dog had been scampering. It was indeed just as curious a meadow as Doodle Dog thought, but he still hadn’t figured out what was causing those sounds, like the laughter of fairies or the tinkling of bells.
The curious floppy-eared puppy in the curious meadow didn’t have to wait much longer to make that discovery, however, as the sound grew louder and louder and then it ran across the field carried by the quick little legs of three little children scampering through the thickets just as Doodle Dog had done! His favorite kind of humans! Doodle Dog could see a little boy carrying a long, skinny stick and wearing a pointy hat made of tin foil with a bright red plume stuck in the top. It looked like a feather from a crimson-colored cardinal that the boy must have found. A little girl, who very much reminded Doodle Dog of his sweet hot air balloon companion, danced along in a pretty sundress with a fluttery skirt. A crown of daisies draped over the top of her chestnut curls, gently bouncing with every lighthearted step. A garland made of nearby ivy decorating her dress matched the green in her eyes as they sparkled with excitement. The delighted squeals continued to fill the air as the darling damsel dashed daintily through the dandelions, as ladylike as possible, of course! Doodle Dog watched as a second little boy dropped down to his hands and knees in the grass. At first Doodle Dog thought he was pretending to be a puppy but then he started making noises like a horse and seemed to be ready to charge at the little princess!
The makeshift knight was too far away from the make-believe princess to stop the pretend horse from running into her, and Doodle Dog quickly thought of all the stories he’d heard about knights and their horses. Doodle Dog knew the knights in the tales were brave, loyal, and strong. He was definitely loyal and he could be a tough little floppy-eared puppy when he needed to be, but Doodle Dog wasn’t sure about the brave part…but then, just as he’d took a chance and opened his eyes to see the world from the balloon so high, Doodle Dog took a leap and jumped in front of the princess and gave a friendly growl to the “horse.” The princess, with her hair draped in daisies and her dress draped in ivy, draped her arms around Doodle Dog’s neck and gave him a big, wet kiss on his floppy ears. Ew!
After Doodle Dog shook his ears and the pretend horse laughed, the little princess took the knight’s skinny-stick sword and first touched Doodle Dog’s front shoulder and then the other. “Sir Doodle Dog” spent the afternoon prancing and dancing with the princess and her friends until the sun set its brilliant colors on their little kingdom.
As he curled in for a well-deserved nap on a rolling hill, he bet he might even be able to take on a dragon, should of course there be a damsel in need of rescuing! And as for the curious meadow, it was indeed just as special a place as Doodle Dog hoped.