Chapter 10: ‘Good Boy Charlie!’
Today, we publish the final chapter of an ongoing children’s book written by New Ipswich author Emily Chetkowski and illustrated by young artists from Highbridge Hill Elementary School.
Almost every day, George read the paper to Charlie, whose favorite sections were the sports and comics.
Being careful to leave Blue and Mabel inside, George continued to let Charlie get the paper every morning, or at least attempt to. Hard as Charlie tried, getting it to the door in one piece still wasn’t easy. Blame it on Charlie’s playful happiness, which he was full of in the morning causing him to treat the paper like a dog toy, or his short legs which made him sometimes drag it to the door, stepping on it many times in the process, either way, it was no easy task!
One day, George came home with a special package.
“I’ve got a surprise for you Charlie,” George said as he grinned from ear to ear, “but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow morning to see it.”
“Whatever could it be?” wondered Charlie. Though his curiosity kept him awake and thinking that night, he was up and at the door extra early with anticipation.
“Charlie, come here for a minute,” George said as he walked over to him, carrying what looked like a little jacket. Charlie wore dog coats when it was cold out but it was a warm day today. Still, George bent down and dressed Charlie in the coat.
“What’s going on?” wondered Charlie as George fastened this and that, and then put something on Charlie’s head too.
“My my my, don’t you look special Charlie!” said George as he stood back to admire him.
Mabel and Blue came racing in the room to see.
“Wow!” exclaimed Mabel.
“Well, look at that!” said Blue.
Charlie looked a bit bewildered so George took him over to the mirror to see for himself.
Lo and behold, Charlie was wearing a specially made carrier bag, and on that bag was embroidered “CHARLIE.”
To top it off, Charlie was wearing was a matching newsboy cap!
“Wow,” thought Charlie, “don’t I look snazzy!”
“Come on, lets try it out! Let’s go get the paper!” said George rather excitedly.
So out the door they all went. Charlie trotted sprightly down the driveway looking rather dapper, with George right behind him. Unsure of what to do next, Charlie waited for George when he reached the paper. George then picked it up and put it in Charlie’s carrier bag.
“Take it to the house Charlie,” George instructed, and Charlie set off, trotting back up the driveway.
“Gee, this is easy!” thought Charlie. Then the urge to get crazy came over him. Charlie decided to just go for it, to test his carrier bag out.
“Grrrrr....grrrrr!” Around and around in circles he ran. Mabel and Blue joined in the chase. George cringed!
Charlie, however, got back to the task at hand, turned down the sidewalk and stopped at the door, wagging his tail while waiting for George, the paper still safe in his mail bag.
“GOOD BOY Charlie!” exclaimed George. “VERY good boy! Let’s go in and read it now.”
George took the paper from Charlie’s bag. Charlie’s tail was still wagging as George sat down to read it, inviting Mabel and Blue to sit down as well.
“How about we start with the comics today, everyone,” and George read to all 3 dogs.
Charlie was so proud.
Later on, Charlie got to thinking about his other friends on the farm, and all the help they’d offered him over his curiosity about the paper. He also got to thinking about the stories they had shared with him, the stories about who they each were. Charlie had not shared anything with them.
That gave Charlie another idea.
From that day on, after George read the paper to Charlie, he’d go out to the barn to visit everyone.
From the weather, to current events, politics, sports, and even the comics, he’d share what he learned with each of his friends, focusing on their special interests.
Shaggy, with his melodious bray, loved Music and the Arts.
Ammy, who had come from so far away, was more interested in Travel, and History.
Misty, the smart one, was interested in Science and Environmental news.
Tansy, preferred to hear about the latest in Fashion and Beauty, which was no surprise to Charlie.
Mandy, ever the athlete, was all about sports. She also enjoyed the Food section, although she wished they gave out samples too.
Winny, always looking for a prank to play on her sisters, enjoyed the comics.
Heather was happy to hear whatever it was Charlie wanted to share with her.
However, the happiest of Charlie’s friends was George, to get his newspaper all in one piece!