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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
My Dog's Better Than Your Cat

Joe held his dog, Burt. “My dog, Burt, is better than your cat, Fluffy. What a silly name for a cat. Dogs are better than cats.”

Emily scowled. “Fluffy is much better than your dog. Cats are lovable and play with string and wool. They chase mice and eat catnip and fish. Cats are better than dogs.”

Burt squirmed and tried to get out of Joe's grasp.

“See. Burt doesn't even want you to hold him.” Emily giggled and stuck her tongue out at her brother.

Burt dropped to the floor and ran outside. Joe and Emily watched him out the window.

“Look how silly he looks. All he does is chase butterflies and bark and wag his tail. He can't even purr.” Emily took Fluffy and went to her room.

Joe watched Burt a while longer and then went outside. “Come here, Burt. Come to Joe.” At first the dog ignored Joe, but when he called him again, the dog came running. He jumped on Joe's legs and tried to lick his face. Joe sat on the grass and the dog licked him all over with his rough, tickly tongue.

“What can dogs do?” Joe thought about it for a while. He picked up a stick and threw it across the yard. Burt ran after it and brought it back to him. “Wow! You can fetch.” He threw it again and once more the dog ran after it and carried it proudly in his mouth, dropping it at Joe's feet.

Joe stood and shouted. “Emily, dogs are smarter than cats. They can fetch. Cats don't fetch. Cats aren't as good as dogs.”

Emily went to her bedroom window and opened it. “Dogs are dumb! So what if Burt can fetch a stick. Can he catch a mouse?”

Joe looked at Burt. “Can you catch a mouse, boy?” He knew the dog didn't do that sort of thing. He stuck his tongue out at his sister and was glad when she shut the window.

Later that day Joe carried Burt in the house and sat next to his mother. “Mom, are cats better or are dogs?”

“Joe, Burt is your dog. Of course you're going to love him more. I know you love Fluffy too though, don't you?”

“Don't tell Emily that, Mom.” Joe smiled.

“All animals are amazing creatures. Each one does something different than the other. It doesn't mean they are better, just different. Take Burt and go up to see Emily. Tell her you like her cat.” Mom went into the kitchen to fix herself a drink of lemonade.

Joe went up the stairs and knocked on Emily's door. She opened it and stood silent, waiting for him to speak. “Emily, I like Burt more because he's my dog, but I like Fluffy too. Cats are okay. Can I play with Fluffy for a while and you can play with Burt?”

Emily smiled. “Okay.” She took Burt from Joe's arms and took him to her bed.

Joe played with Fluffy.

When he went to bed, he hugged his mom. “You were right. I do like Fluffy too. I guess cats and dogs are both fun pets.”

Mom kissed Joe on the forehead, petted Burt and turned off the light. “Good night, Joe.”

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