The Bow-wow Bus
It began like any other Monday.
When Cassie and I came downstairs that morning, Leopold was already on his perch. Dash sat nearby. Whiskers was curled up on the sofa, while Shadow hid behind it. (She likes to sneak outside whenever she gets the chance.)
Cassie was chattering to me as usual. “My school job this week is snack helper,” she said. She unzipped
her backpack and pulled out her lunch box. “Sit please, Princess Coco.”
I sat. Cassie opened her lunch box and took out a little snack-pack filled with cubes of cheese. She gave one to me.
“Now, if you have a question,” Cassie said to me, “you need to raise your paw.” She held up another piece of cheese. “Show me your paw, please.”
I raised my paw.
“Very good, Princess Coco. But I won’t be able to call you ‘Princess,’ ” she said sadly. “In first grade, make-believe is only for recess and choice time. So in class, I will just call you Coco.”
Cassie backed up a few steps and patted her thighs. “Come, Coco,” she called.
I trotted over and nudged her hand with my
nose. She gave me another piece of cheese.
“Now for the fun part,” Cassie said. She went to the supply closet and found her old backpack from preschool—the one that looks like a ladybug. I’d worn Cassie’s ladybug backpack before, like the time we ran away to the barn.
Dash looked at Leopold. Leopold looked at Dash. Whiskers looked a little nervous. But I was curious. What was Cassie up to now?
“Sit please, Princess Coco. I mean, just Coco.”
“Show me your paw, Coco.”
I raised a paw. Cassie held it in her hand. She gently guided my paw through the shoulder strap of the backpack. Then she guided my other paw through the other strap. The backpack was a little wobbly, so Cassie tightened it up.
“Cassie!” Mom called from upstairs. “Did you remember to brush your teeth?”
“Oops,” Cassie said. “I’ll be right back,” she whispered to me. “You stay here.” She tossed me another cube of cheese. She put the snack-pack back into her lunch box and set it next to the sofa. Then she ran up the stairs.
I plopped down on the floor. Whew! That was a lot of activity for so early in the morning.
Shadow came out from her hiding spot behind the sofa. “What’s with the ladybug?” she asked me. “Are you and Cassie running away again?”
“Don’t be silly,” I said. “It’s a school day.”
“Then why are you wearing a backpack?” asked Whiskers.
“Cassie put it there,” I said.
“We know that,” said Shadow. “But why?”