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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
A Romp In The Leaves

Autumn was in the air. A chill could be felt in the morning and the sun didn’t stay as long in the sky. Leaves were turning colors and all the summer crops had been harvested. Even the loch seemed a bit darker. This was Malcolm’s favorite time of year.

One of his favorite things to do was to run through the piles of leaves that Angus MacScot raked up. Angus didn’t like it that much, but Malcolm found it great fun to see the gold, red, and orange leaves flying around in the air.

Angus had spent hours raking up piles of leaves. He knew that Malcolm was lying in front of the fire sleeping, so he raked as quickly as he could. He wanted to finish before Malcolm came outside. He knew how much Malcolm enjoyed messing up his piles of leaves. When all the piles were in nice, neat stacks, Angus went into the shed to find the trash bags to put the leaves in. Much to his dismay he discovered there were none left, so he walked into town to buy another box.

Malcolm woke up and stretched. He had a good life. Not many Scotty dogs were as pampered as he was. He ran into the kitchen and lapped up some water, nibbled on some chunks of leftover steak and then went outside. He couldn’t see Angus anywhere in the back garden, so he went into the front garden to look. Just then, Paddy, a reddish-brown Irish setter, came running down the street. When he saw Malcolm, he ran over to him. They chased each other around for a while and then went into the back garden. Malcolm saw all the piles of leaves. He got quite excited, wagged his tail and barked. He ran as fast as his short little legs could take him and jumped, landing right in the middle of a pile of colorful autumn leaves. They went everywhere, up into the air and out to the side. What a mess!

Paddy, following Malcolm’s idea, did the same thing. They both ran from pile to pile, jumping in the leaves. Malcolm crawled under one pile and hid from Paddy. Paddy looked all over for the black dog but couldn’t find him. He started ripping all the piles of leaves apart, searching for Malcolm.

It was at that time when Angus MacScot came back home. He walked into the back garden and saw the mess. He also saw Paddy ripping the piles apart and scattering the leaves everywhere. He started yelling at Paddy and chased him away. Malcolm, still hiding in the leaves, knew he’d be in big trouble in Angus saw him so he stayed there, hiding.

Angus raked the leaves up again. It took him hours. One pile at a time, he started gathering the beautiful leaves and putting them into plastic trash bags. Malcolm didn’t know what he was going to do when Angus got to his pile. Mr. MacInnes from down the lane came by the house and went into the back garden. He saw Angus raking and called to him. They stood and talked for a little while about Mr. MacInnes’s fence that was broken and then, much to Malcolm’s delight, they walked around to the front garden. This was his chance. He jumped out of the pile of leaves and ran into the house. He lay down in a curled up ball in front of the fire. When Angus and Mr. MacInnes came into the house, he pretended to be asleep.

Angus looked at him. "Get up, you lazy dog. Imagine, he’s been sleeping there this whole day long," Angus told Mr. MacInnes.

Malcolm pretended to just have woken up. He wagged his tail at the two men and went out the front door. Whew! He was glad that Angus hadn’t found out it was him who messed up the leaves too.

When he went into the back garden he saw the piles of leaves. Some had been bagged, others hadn’t. Unable to resist, he ran as fast as he could and jumped into the pile of amber-colored leaves. Before Angus came back outside, he ran into the front garden again and stood by the front door so that Angus would think he’d been there the whole time. When Angus and Mr. MacInnes came outside, Angus bent down and pulled a leaf from under Malcolm’s collar. "Where did this come from?" he asked the dog. Malcolm just looked at him and started wagging his tail.

It was time for Mr. MacInnes to leave. Malcolm followed him down the path a bit. On his way back he saw Angus out in the back garden, raking. Malcolm chuckled and went back in the house to take a snooze.

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