"I love autumn," Cockles laughed. He
ran through a pile of rust, orange, amber and maroon leaves and they flew
high into the air. "Arenít autumn colors lovely?"
"Yes. I donít like to see the trees
bare or the grass turn brown, but I do love playing in the leaves. Right
now Mrs. McNaught has a garden filled with big orange pumpkins. What do
you say we go over there and play?" Mussels suggested.
Cockles agreed and they ran to Mrs.
McNaughtís garden. "Wow! Look at all the pumpkins. What do you think she
does with them all?"
"I donít know but you know what Iím
thinking?" Mussels asked.
"Why donít we have a contest and try
to jump from one pumpkin to the other, without falling? There are so many
of them that it should be easy," Mussels said.
He ran and climbed onto the largest
pumpkin. "Donít trip on the vines, Cockles. Come on, climb aboard," he
Cockles climbed onto another large
orange pumpkin, which wasnít an easy thing for a dachshund to do. "Iím
"Iím going to jump to that one over
there. You jump to this one," Mussels suggested. He leapt through the air
and landed on the next pumpkin. "That was easy. Your turn," he shouted.
Cockles couldnít jump as well as
Mussels did, but he sprang off. His long, reddish brown body flew through
the air and landed on the pumpkin. "That was fun! Letís do it again!"
They hopped and leapt from pumpkin
to pumpkin until they had nearly jumped onto all of them. "Iím going to do
this last one and then we can go play in the corn stalks," Mussels said.
He leapt with a spring and landed on the pumpkin. He landed so hard that
his legs went right into the pumpkin flesh. He was stuck. "Will you help
me, please?" he pleaded with Cockles, who was standing on the ground now,
laughing his head off.
"Youíre a little stuck there, arenít
"If youíll pull me, then I can get
unstuck!" Mussels said.
Cockles went behind Mussels and
pulled. He pulled and pulled some more and soon Musselís legs came out and
the two dogs fell backwards into the pumpkin vines and leaves. "Look at
your legs," Cockles said, squirming his face.
Musselís legs were covered with
orange slime and seeds. "Disgusting," he said and wiped them off. "Weíll
have to head over to the burn to wash my legs off."
They ran out of Mrs. McNaughtís
garden and soon were standing at the stream. QUACK! QUACK! QUACK! The dogs
looked up and saw a flock of ducks, heading south. They were in a
V-formation. Mussels quickly splashed water on his fur and soon they were
clean. "Those ducks will be going where itís warmer. They must know how
cold winters are on Barra," Cockles chuckled.
"Iím a bit chilled myself," Mussels
said. "Washing oneself of in an icy cold burn doesnít make you warm." He
shook himself off and water went flying everywhere. "Are you up to playing
in Jim Taylorís cornfield?" he asked his friend.
"That sounds like fun, but donít
lose me. I remember the last time we played in there. I was lost for
hours," Cockles reminded.
"Come on. The cornís been picked off
and the stalks are starting to die, so it shouldnít be too bad," Mussels
said, running towards the field.
It was as heíd said. The cornstalks
were browning. "Iíll go and hide and you come and find me," Cockles said.
He ran off to hide. "I think Iíll hide right here," he whispered.
"Iím coming to find you now,"
shouted Mussels. Cockles could hear Mussels running about the cornfield.
He giggled softly, happy that heíd not been found yet. "Where are you,
Cockles?" called Mussels.
Cockles didnít answer. He wanted
Mussels to keep looking. After a while he didnít hear any noises. He
didnít hear Mussels calling his name. He didnít hear him breathing hard or
running about. "Hmmm. I wonder if heís there still," Cockles said. He came
out of his hiding place and walked through the cornstalks. "Iím here," he
shouted, but there was no answer and no Mussels. "Mussels! Mussels! Iím
right here. Come and find me!"
Mussels hid and was very quiet. He
wanted Cockles to think heíd gone back home. "There he is, hee, hee, hee,"
chuckled Mussels. "He thinks Iíve gone."
Cockles came closer and closer to
where Mussels was hiding. "Where is he? Did he go home? I hope heís not
playing with my blue ball!" Cockles said.
Just then, Mussels jumped out from
behind a large stone. "Got you!" he shouted.
Cockles fell to the ground in fear.
"You frightened me!" he gasped, holding his heart.
"Hee, hee, hee, hee," laughed
Mussels. "You thought Iíd gone home to play with your blue ball, didnít
"Well, yes I did. Enough of this.
Iím tired. Letís go home," Cockles said. He was feeling rather angry about
"Iíll beat you home," Mussels
shouted and ran away towards the house.
"Och, that dog!" Cockles sighed and
ran after Mussels. When he got back to the house, there was Mussels,
tossing his blue ball into the air. "Give it back," Cockles said.
"If you donít, then Iíll tell all
the other dogs on the island about you having pumpkin slime and seeds on
your legs," Cockles threatened.
Mussels dropped the ball. "Och, all
right. Here you go," he said and tossed the blue ball back to Cockles.
That night they both lay quietly in
their baskets, thinking of the fun day theyíd had in the pumpkin patch and
in the cornfield. Cockles wrapped his paws tightly around his ball and
fell asleep, with a smile on his face, thinking about Mussels feet stuck
in the pumpkin.