by Christine Marie Alemshah
“If it ever stops raining, we’ll go outside and play,” she said to her little red and white dog. The rain pounded on the roof like a snare drum. Thumpety-thump! Thumpety-thump! Finally, after what felt like forever and ever, the rain stopped.
“Hooray,” she said. “Come on, Rio. Let’s go outside!”
Rio wagged her tail and jumped with joy. Gina put on her coat, and they went outside together. She tossed a tennis ball back and forth for Rio to fetch.
BOUNCE, JUMP, CATCH! BOUNCE, JUMP, CATCH!
After a while, Rio lay down on her belly and stopped retrieving the ball. Then her eyes fixed on…a mud puddle!
“Don’t even think about jumping in that mud puddle,” Gina said.
But she was too late. Rio darted toward it before Gina could catch her. She pounced and bounced and pounced and bounced, until her white feet turned brown.
“Look what you’ve done, you silly dog! Now you need a bath.”
Gina scooted her back into the house, careful to keep her muddy feet off the carpet. She guided her to the bathroom.
“Get in the tub, please,” she said.
Rio’s eyes sparkled. She jumped in the tub, put a paw in Gina’s hand, and wagged her tail. After the bath, she shook, shook, shook off all the water. Then Gina rubbed her all over with a fluffy blue towel.
“There you go, girl! All clean!”
Tired from all the fun, Rio curled up in her doggie bed and fell asleep.
Gina decided it was a terrific time to draw a mermaid. She took out her crayon set and began drawing. She scratched her head. “I think I’m forgetting something. A-ha! I left the tennis ball in the backyard.”
Gina opened the back door. A dash of red lightning whipped through her legs. It was Rio! She ran straight toward the mud puddle.
“Oh, no! Not again,” Gina said. “I guess you get to have two baths today.”
Rio rolled on her back and busied herself with a chewy bone. Gina continued looking for the tennis ball. She finally found it on the far side of the yard. When she turned around, Rio was gone.
“Now where did you go? Rio! Here, girl.”
Gina looked behind the door and in the side yard. “Hmm…she must have gone inside.”
She looked in the kitchen. No Rio! She looked in the dining room. No Rio! She looked in the living room. Still, no Rio!
Gina grew worried. “Where are you, girl?”
Gina bit her lip, twisting her long hair in her fingers. A smile slowly crept up on her face. There was one place she had not looked. She ran down the hall, all the way to the bathroom. Who did she find, standing in the bath tub, wagging her tail? Rio, of course! Gina giggled.
“You are one VERY silly, VERY smart dog, Rio!” she said. “Now, let’s try not to have anymore muddy feet today, okay?”
1. What color was Gina’s dog?
2. What did Rio do when Gina took her outside to play fetch?
3. What did Gina decide to do when Rio was taking a nap?
4. What had Gina forgotten outside?
5. Why do you think Rio was waiting in the bath tub for Gina?