The Bedtime Story

Brooke, my human cousin, was spending the night, and she asked me if I would like to hear a bedtime story.

When Joey was younger, he insisted on a bedtime story. While I rested at the foot of the bed, Dad or Mom (or sometimes Hattie) would read a boring story to him, and soon I would be fast asleep. I don’t know about Joey, but those stories were a sure cure for canine insomnia.

I wasn’t all that enthusiastic about Brooke’s offer of a bedtime story, so I prevaricated a little, looking at the ceiling and shifting my weight from side to side. “Come on, Marcy Mary. This story is a really good story. It is about a very brave dog!” And with that, she picked me up, put me in the recliner, and snuggled in close to me. What can a small dog do? I resigned myself to the story.

So Brooke opened her book and began …

Coco Chanel sat on the far border of the dog park. She could hear her human mother calling her. “Coco! Coco Chanel!” But Coco, although she had excellent hearing, ignored her. 

I am the smartest canine at this dog park. Everyone knows that French poodles are the most intelligent dogs. Not only am I intelligent, I am beautiful. You can tell by looking at my adorable natural black curls, cut in the latest fashion. Coco preened as though she was posing for the Best of the Year dog calendar. 

Coco had been warned by the other dogs not to wander too far from the pack because just two blocks away was open country, and that was where the predators lived. “They are just scaredy cats!” she scoffed out loud. “French poodles are the most intelligent, most attractive, and bravest dogs in the world!” she barked loudly. 

It was then that Coco heard a rustling in the bushes behind her, and the unmistakable smell of cat wafted her way. She jumped up on all fours, all senses alert. Looking into the bushes, she saw the gleaming yellow eyes of a crouching young male mountain lion.

“Really? I am a cat, and I’m not scared,” he said in a low growl.

In the distance, Coco heard her mother say, “Coco! Coco Chanel, come here! Come here right now!” in a voice laced with anxiety and anger.

Coco wished she could go to her mother, but she was frozen in fear.

“Coco! Coco, run!” she heard twelve canine voices barking.

“Yes, Coco. Why don’t you run?” the mountain lion said in a voice like honey, and then grinned, showing all his terrible pointy canines.

And just when the huge cat was about spring, a solid bundle of auburn fur hit him square on the side of the head. The spell was broken, and Coco ran faster than she ever had back to her mother, who was still calling, “Coco! Coco Chanel!” 

The mountain lion, stunned by the blow to his head, snarled and swiped its huge paw at the retreating behind of Marcy Mary. By then the entire dog pack had arrived, and led by the brave little dachshund, they ran the mountain lion out of the park. 

Marcy Mary was hailed as a hero by all the dogs at the park, and Coco Chanel learned a valuable lesson …

Brooke closed the book, though in truth I know she made this whole story up as she went along. “What lesson do you think Coco learned, Marcy Mary?”

The answer was obvious. “Everyone knows dachshunds are the bravest, most intelligent, and beautiful of all the canines.”

Brooke smiled and said, “Correct. Let’s get a little snack before bed.”

And so we did.

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