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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
How Many Pets do you Need

“I want a pet dog,” Eddie said. “I want another pet.”

“But Eddie, you've already got a cat, a mouse, and a tortoise. Why do you want another pet?” Papa looked around Eddie's room. “You've got a cage for your mouse and one for your tortoise and your cat sleeps on a pillow at the bottom of your bed. How many pets do you need?”

“I want a dog, Papa.” Eddie fell on the floor and cried.

“If you're going to act like a baby, Eddie, then I will not buy you a dog,” Papa said. He left Eddie crying and shut the door.

Eddie was angry with his papa. “I want a dog and I'm going to get one.” He ran outside while his papa wasn't watching and walked up and down the streets searching for a stray dog. After he'd gone around the block a few times he saw a gray-haired dog running down the street. “I'll get that dog.”

The dog was much bigger than Eddie thought. It knocked over Mr. Ingalls' trash can and then it ripped all the trash to pieces. Mr. Ingalls came outside and shouted at the dog. “Go away! Bad dog!”

Eddie watched the dog run down the street and went to help Mr. Ingalls clean up the mess. A while later he saw the dog chasing a cat up a tree. It barked at the cat and it was afraid. Eddie could see it shiver. Mrs. Burns came outside and saw her cat up in the tree. “Go away! Bad dog!” She chased it away and called for her cat. It wouldn't come down so Eddie climbed the tree and got it for her.

He heard some barking and ran around the corner. The dog had dug a big hole in Mr. Swanson's front garden. Flowers lay scattered all over the grass and Mr. Swanson shook his fist at the barking dog. “Bad dog! Go away!” He chased the dog with a broom, trying to hit it.

Eddie headed for home. He thought about all the things he had seen the dog do. He found his papa sitting on the front porch chair. “Papa, I don't want a dog after all. I have a cat, a mouse and a tortoise. That's all the pets I need.” Papa smiled and Eddie went to his room to play with his pets.

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