by Mary McClellan
Buddy hid under the bed and watched as she picked up what was left of her homework folder and her new dictionary.
“I’m going to be in trouble for leaving my things on the floor where you could get them. Did the cover of the dictionary taste bad? It’s the only part you didn’t eat.”
Buddy inched farther back under the bed.
“How can I do my homework without my folder?” she asked. “I have to study for a test.”
“I’m sorry,” a voice said.
Natalie stopped and looked around. “Who said that?”
Buddy looked around, too.
Natalie got down on her hands and knees and looked under the bed. “Is someone under there with you, Buddy?”
“Buddy, is that you talking?” she asked.
“I…I guess it is. Yes,” said Buddy, with a look of surprise on his face.
Natalie stared at him. “Come out here.”
Buddy crawled out from under the bed and sat in front of her.
“When did you start talking?” she asked.
“This is the first time.” He scratched his ear with his hind leg. “I’m just as surprised as you are.”
“How did this happen?” Natalie asked.
“I don’t know, but I might be able to figure it out if I had a biscuit.”
“You always want a biscuit. Is that all you think about?” she asked.
“Yes, most of the time.”
“You’re thinking about food, and I’m worrying about tomorrow’s spelling test. I need to study those words that sound alike but have different meanings.”
“Like t-h-e-r-e and t-h-e-i-r?” asked Buddy.
Natalie stared at Buddy, her mouth open. “How do you know that?”
Buddy rolled on his back. “I don’t know. I didn’t know it when I woke up this morning.”
“Wait a minute,” Natalie said. “What’s two plus four?”
“Six,” said Buddy.
“Can you name a planet?” she asked.
“Buddy, I know what happened,” said Natalie.
He sat up. “What?”
“You learned everything you ate!” she said.
“Yes. Since you ate my dictionary, you can talk. And you know about spelling, math, and space because you ate my homework folder.”
“You’re right. I didn’t know any of this before I chewed up your things.”
“This is incredible,” she said.
“Does this mean I can have a biscuit?”
“Buddy, you can have two biscuits.”
“Wow. Who knew talking could be this much fun? I wish you’d left your papers on the floor before!”
“Could you tell your teacher your dog ate your homework so you couldn’t study for the test?”
“Teachers hear that all the time.”
Buddy was surprised. “You mean dogs everywhere chew homework?”
“No, but kids say that when they haven’t studied.”
“But it’s true,” said Buddy.
“We know that. I’ll have to think of…wait, I’ve got it.”
“You’re going to help me pass the test,” said Natalie.
“You know the material, so you can help me study.”
“That’s a great idea,” said Buddy. “Let’s get the biscuits and get started.”
1. What book did Buddy eat?
2. What happened when Buddy ate Natalie’s homework folder?
3. How did Buddy help Natalie?
4. What did Buddy ask for?