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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
The Empty Trash Can

Roger, the raccoon, ran around the streets every night tipping over trash cans and looking through the spilled contents for food. He'd eat just about anything, from chicken bones to apple cores.

Roger lived in the woods during the day. He'd sleep while the sun was up and when the sun set, he'd wake up and run into the town. His favorite place to go to was Mr. Jacob's Bakery. Mr. Jacobs never kept any of his baked goods. Each night he tossed them into the trash cans and Rolf enjoyed each and every piece of cake, pie, pastry and tart.

Another of his favorite places was the Heather and Ale Pub. The owners, Jock and Agnes McGinty, threw all their extra food out at night after closing. Sometimes Roger would find haggis, roast beef, curried chicken with raisins and nuts and his favorite, shepherd's pie. Roger never went hungry.

A storm moved through the hills and dropped rain all day long. Roger had to run for shelter in an old hollow tree. It was hard for him to sleep because of the pitter patter of raindrops on top of the log. Water kept rushing inside, making his paws wet and his fur smelly. When the moon came out that night, the clouds disappeared and the rain stopped. Roger felt extra hungry. When he didn't sleep well, he was always hungrier than usual. He was looking forward the raiding Mr. Jacob's and the McGinty's trash cans.

Down the street he ran, splashing in puddles and licking his lips in anticipation of the delicious food he would soon be eating. His nose twitched as he neared the bakery. He knocked the lid to the trash can and gulped. There was nothing in it. There wasn't one pie, cake, tart, or pastry. There wasn't even a piece of quiche or stale bread. Roger scratched the top of his head in confusion.

He put the lid back on and ran down the street toward the pub. Surely they'd have food. He lifted the lid to the trash can and gulped again. There was no food. He climbed down into it. No chicken legs, no meat pies, no cornish pasties and no bridies, or haggis. While he was hiding in the trash can, he heard the McGinty's come out of the pub's back door.

“Och, what a horrid day. Because of all the rain we didn't have one customer. I put all the food in the refrigerator for tomorrow,” Mrs. McGinty said.

Roger sighed. No wonder there was no food. He ran back to the log and tried to get some sleep. He would be going hungry for a day or two, but knew that tomorrow night there'd be food once again. And there was.

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