Thursday, May 28, 2015


“Mommy!  It’s too hot.”  I need something.  I need a COLD something.  MOMMY!  ARE YOU LISTENING?”

“Vanessa, please!  I am trying to read.” 

“But Mommy, aren’t you hot?”

“I am hot, but I have to finish this homework, please go find something to do.”

Vanessa stomped off, with a big pout on her mouth which she made sure her mother couldn’t see.  She knew her mother would just make a comment like, “oh, what a nice new shelf we have in the house, here I’ll set my coffee cup on it.”  She wasn’t in the least sympathetic.

Vanessa wandered around the apartment.  She wandered around the back yard.  She wandered upstairs to her bedroom.  There was just nowhere that was not stifling hot! 

Vanessa tried drawing with her crayons, but it was so hot they stuck to her fingers and just felt… well, sticky.

Vanessa tried playing the piano, but her mom yelled at her to be quiet as she had to concentrate.  “Humph.”  Vanessa stalked away from the piano and went to the book shelf.  She pulled out a book to read, it was all about the ocean and a rainbow fish.  Vanessa couldn’t read very well yet, but she had memorized this book so she looked like she was reading it, and she felt like she was reading it, even though she could only read certain words. 

But it was making her hotter to read about the ocean—everything looked so cool there with the waves and the breeze… and then she had an idea that she knew would cool her off!

She needed to get her mother’s attention.  She needed to get her attention right now!

“MOMMY!  I know just what to do so we can both be cool while you study!”

“Alright, what is it, but be quick, I have to finish this today. “  Mommy didn’t even look up when she spoke and Vanessa knew she hadn’t gotten her attention yet.  Vanessa stood there with her little fists on her hips and a frown on her face.  Mommy didn’t even notice. 

“Mommy.  I am so hot I am going to faint.  I am hotter than the sun.  I am hotter than the BBQ grill.  I am hotter than the inside of the oven….”  Vanessa waited.  Mommy still didn’t look up. 

“Ummm” said mommy.

“AND I THINK YOU ARE TOO!” Yelled Vanessa at the top of her lungs.

“Vanessa Dawn!  Don’t you yell at me like that!  (Now she had mommy’s attention.)

“Mommy, you always tell me it’s not polite to ignore you and you are ignoring me so I HAD to yell to get your attention.”

“Well.  You have one minute, and then I am going back to work.  What is it that cannot wait.”

“Mommy, I know just how to cool us both off and I promise I won’t bug you all the rest of the day!  Let’s go to the lake!  You can work on your tablet in the grass and I can swim and you can even swim to take a break and cool off and you know it will be SO much cooler there.”

“Oh.”  Mommy looked thoughtful.  Vanessa looked hopeful.  Vanessa waited.  She waited some more.  Mommy still looked thoughtful. 

“Please Mommy.  Please?”

Mommy took a big breath.  “You are right.  What are we doing sitting in this hot sticky apartment when we can be sitting by the lake?  Get your swimsuit on and I’ll pack a lunch.”

“Yippee!  Thank you mommy!  Thank you, thank you!” Vanessa yelled as she flew upstairs to get her swimsuit.  It didn’t take long for both of them to pile into the car and be on the road.  In a half hour they were pulling up to the parking lot at Big Pond.  Vanessa thought calling the lake, ‘Big Pond,’ was hilarious, as obviously it was too big to be a pond and really, Mommy had told her, it’s name was Lake Ondawa, which was an Indian name anyway.  Vanessa thought that was a much better name AND it was more fun to say than “Big Pond.”

Mommy rolled out their blanket and got out their basket of food.  Vanessa ran down to the lake for a cool off dip before she ate, while Mommy got everything ready.  Just as Vanessa ran back to the blanket, a roll-y poll-y ball of fur ran up to her and started jumping and yipping and falling backwards and then jumping up and doing it again.  Vanessa ran around in circles and called out, “what a cute puppy!” 

“Why don’t you take her back to those nice people over there, I think she belongs to them.  Then we can eat our lunch.”

Vanessa scooped up the little puppy and took her back to her owners and came back and sat down on the blanket.  “That poor puppy doesn’t even have a name yet.  If she were my puppy I’d name her Cinderella.  When can we get a dog mommy?  I really want one and you said someday I can have one.  Wasn’t that puppy just so cute?”

“Here is your sandwich honey.   Let’s have our lunch, you must be starving.”  Mommy had a way of ignoring things she didn’t want to talk about.  As Mommy was handing Vanessa her sandwich, the puppy ran back to their blanket and was sniffing and yipping and jumping all over Vanessa’s lap. Vanessa held her sandwich over her head.

“Can I give her a piece of my sandwich mommy?” 

“You will have to ask her owners, it’s their dog.” 

“Hey!  Can your puppy have some of my chicken sandwich?” Vanessa yelled over. 

Mommy gave her ‘the look’ and Vanessa knew she shouldn’t have yelled, it wasn’t polite.  But the people yelled back, “sure, she would love a treat!” so it seemed ok to Vanessa— at least the other people thought it was ok to yell.

The puppy kept wandering back and forth between Vanessa’s blanket and their blanket all afternoon while Mommy worked on her tablet and Vanessa splashed in the water.  Sometimes the puppy splashed with her—Vanessa liked that best of all.

Vanessa ran up from the water’s edge and threw herself on the blanket.  The puppy looked over and then ran to Vanessa and gave her puppy kisses all over her face.  Vanessa couldn’t stop laughing.  The owners walked over and Mommy said, “I hope we haven’t monopolized your puppy too much, but my daughter did have a good time with her.  Thank you for sharing her.”


“Well actually, we came over to say hi.  And to tell you we have six more of these little critters at home and are looking to find good homes for them.  Your daughter looks like she really enjoys this one.  Would you like to take her home with you?”

Mommy just sat there with her mouth open.  Vanessa didn’t.  “PLEASE MOMMY?  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE?  I PROMISE I’LL TAKE ALL THE CARE OF HER.  I PROMISE. I PROMISE.  PLEASE?”

“Well, I… uh… well, we have talked about getting a dog.  And you are four years old now.  Do you think you could remember to feed her?”

“Oh, Mommy.  You know I would!  Thank you mommy, thank you so much!  It’s all I’ve wanted for a long time!”  Vanessa was hopping up and down and could barely contain herself.

“Now wait, we don’t have all the details worked out yet.” Mommy said to Vanessa.  She turned to the nice couple, “How much do you want for her?”

“Oh we don’t want any money!  We just want her to go to a good home and we can see that you two love her and will take good care of her.”

“OH we will take the BEST care of her,” said Vanessa with such conviction all the adults laughed.

“What will you name her,” asked Mommy.

“Hmmmm… Cinderella?  Or Maid Marion?  Or…Snow White?”  Mused Vanessa. 

“Well,” said Mommy, “she isn’t very white—more like a light tan, so Snow white doesn’t seem right, and Maid Marion and Cinderella are quite a mouthful for a little puppy.  Any other ideas?”

“Ummmm….I know, from my MOST favorite book—we’ll call her Heidi!”

At that, Heidi jumped up and wagged her tail so hard she fell over!  She seemed to be in agreement that this was the perfect name for her.  The nice people kissed Heidi goodbye and Vanessa and Mommy and Heidi packed up to make a trip to the store to buy Heidi everything she would need in her new home.  Vanessa held Heidi on her lap and thought that this hot, hot day had turned out to be the best day of her whole life.

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