Look at Lucy!

Look at Lucy! by Ilene Cooper

Book: Look at Lucy! by Ilene Cooper Read Free Book Online
Authors: Ilene Cooper
School Blues
    B obby Quinn sat on the front steps of his house. He watched one tired leaf float down from the big oak tree in the yard.
    “Uh-oh,” said Bobby. Falling leaves. Okay, one leaf. But many more were sure to follow. Bobby knew what that meant. School would start soon.
    School. Bobby didn’t want to think about school.
    And for just that moment he didn’t have to. A bark came from behind the screen door. It was Lucy. Lucy was a brown and white beagle with black spots and eyes the color of chocolate kisses.
    Bobby’s parents had given Lucy to him for his eighth birthday, earlier in the summer. She was absolutely the best dog ever!
Absolutely
was Bobby’s favorite word.
    “A-hooo! A-hooo!”
Lucy’s bark turned into a howl. A howl meant she wanted out of the house, and she wanted out right now.
    “Okay, girl,” Bobby said with a smile. “You can come and sit with me.”
    But Lucy wasn’t the kind of dog who liked to sit. She was the kind of dog who liked to run and jump. She liked to run so much that a few weeks ago she had run away. Bobby and his friend Shawn had tochase her all around their town. For a few anxious moments, Bobby had been afraid he might not see Lucy again.

    Just the thought of that day gave him a stomachache. Since then, Bobby hadn’t taken any chances. He hurried to shut the gate before he let Lucy out of the house.
    When Lucy was free, she leapt down the steps into the yard. Yipping and yapping, she stood next to the Frisbee that Bobby had dropped in the grass the day before. Lucy looked at Bobby with her big brown eyes.
Pick it up! Throw it!
That was what her barks seemed to say.
    Bobby didn’t have to be asked twice. He hurled the red Frisbee, and Lucy went on the chase. Bobby threw. Lucy chased. Every time Lucy brought back the Frisbee, she pranced around, waiting for the next toss.
    School might be starting soon, but it was still summer, and it was hot. Bobby wondered where Lucy got all her energy. He wiped the sweat from his forehead.
    “Hi, Bobby,” a voice called.
    Bobby looked up and saw his friend Shawn at the gate. Shawn had moved in across the street over the summer, and Lucy had brought the two shy boys together.
    Bobby wasn’t as shy as he used to be. But when he thought about school, he got nervous. He didn’t really have any friends in his class. He had always been too shy to talk to the other kids. Would things be any better this year?
    “Hey, Shawn. Come in,” Bobby said.
    Shawn opened the gate and carefully closed it behind him. Chasing Lucy all over town was still very clear in his mind, too.He didn’t want to go through that again.
    Lucy ran over to Shawn and sniffed his hand. She dashed back to the Frisbee. She looked first at Bobby, then at Shawn.
Well? Let’s play
, she seemed to say.

    Instead Bobby said, “It’s too hot, Lucy.” He turned to Shawn. “Let’s go inside and have some lemonade.”
    “Okay. I have something to tell you.”
    As Bobby and Shawn headed for the door, Lucy started barking again. She wasn’t going to give up playtime that easily.
    Sometimes Bobby gave in to Lucy’s wishes, but not today. He opened the door wide. “Come in, Lucy.”
    What could a dog do? She dashed past the boys and led the way into the house.
    Bobby went right to the refrigerator and opened it. The cold air hit him. It felt great. He grabbed the lemonade pitcher and brought it to the table. Then he took a couple of glasses off the counter and poured the lemonade.
    “So what’s up, Shawn?” he asked.
    Shawn took a glass. “My parents said I could get a pet.”
    “A dog?” Bobby knew Shawn had wanted a dog for a long time.
    Shawn shook his head. “No. They said I should start with something small.”
    “A hamster? A turtle? A bird?” Bobby asked.
    Shawn shrugged. “I don’t know. I haven’t decided yet.”
    Mrs. Quinn came into the kitchen. “Bobby,” she said, “we need to go to the mall and pick up some things for school. And I need to

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