Good as New

Illustrations by Cathryn Pratt

Tiny wheels spin on the back of Meatball’s wheelchair. Somehow, Meatball got himself stuck in the only mud puddle in the yard. I’m not surprised, I think. He’s not a very smart dog.

I frown and pretend I don’t see Meatball tip over in the mud. A few seconds later, Mom comes running outside.

“Andi! Why aren’t you helping Meatball?” As Mom helps Meatball out of the puddle, I roll my eyes. A real dog wouldn’t get stuck in a dumb puddle in the first place.

Then, Meatball comes running across the lawn to my chair. Mud sprays from every part of his little wheelchair. I jump as mud flies through the air.

“Not my book!” I cry as I hold up the chapter book I was reading. Sure enough, it’s covered in splashes of mud.

“Oh, honey, calm down. It’ll clean up fine,” Mom says. She reaches down to pick up Meatball, but he hurries away before she can grab him.

“This is a library book!” I yell. She just doesn’t get it, does she? I use my shirt to wipe the mud off my book. I’m so mad tears start blurring my eyes. I will not cry. Not again.

As I turn to go inside, Meatball makes another beeline for me. This time, I’m ready. I stick out a foot as he gets closer and catch it on his wheelchair. Meatball tips over again, this time flopping loudly on the ground.

“ANDI!” Mom yells. “WHAT IS THE MATTER—”

But I hurry inside before she can say anything else.


Read the rest of the story in your January issue of Sparkle!

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