Five Little Wishes For Scruffy

Below is another short story that I wrote at age 13. I was impressed that my story seemed solid and could possibly be published as a young children’s short story book.  I just added a few descriptive adjectives and adverbs and updated names of the characters.  I would like to dedicate this story as an example of education can be fun as well as important to my nine great grandchildren:  Sara, Brandon, Laken, Lacie, Elaina, Noah, Ryan, Jackson,  and Lydia.

I consider this work to be copyrighted by me and not for redistribution by others. I would appreciate any suggestions or comment you might have.  

There was once a little brown wooly dog named Scruffy who thought of himself as too much like all other little dogs.  This feeling made him sad.  Scruffy wanted to be unique or different from the others. Scruffy wanted to feel special.  

When walking through the woods near his home one day, Scruffy came across an unusual looking troll-like man, whom we shall call Mr. Reddington because of his blushing red complexion, pointy ears, and his tousled fiery red hair.  

Upon approaching Scruffy, Mr. Reddington sensed that he was an insecure little dog.   Mr. Reddington asked him; “Why are you feeling down?”  Scruffy proceeded to tell Mr. Reddington that he needed to feel special and not be just ordinary where he could be lost in the crowds of other ordinary dogs.  Mr. Reddington responded by telling Scruffy that he once felt very similar about himself and that he understood just what Scruffy meant by “wanting to be special”.  Mr. Reddington then said to Scruffy; “I have the power to grant you five wishes that if you choose them wisely might help you find out how you, too, can be special and stand out in a crowd.”  But, Mr. Reddington warned Scruffy that once he made his first wish, that he couldn’t change his mind. And, that there is one other condition about your wishes;  “You may not ever choose to bite anyone.”

Scruffy thought about what Mr. Reddington had said to him and then Scruffy said; “For my first wish, I want to be green like the color of grass so that I could blend in and dog catchers won’t easily see me to capture me and take me away.”  Of course, as Mr. Reddington promised he granted Scruffy his first wish.  Suddenly Scruffy felt a change come over him.  Excitedly, he ran to a nearby pond of water and looked at his image in the clear water.  Sure enough, Scruffy had turned into the same color green as the grass. While admiring his reflection in the clear pond water Scruffy decided he was very satisfied with his first wish and wanted to move forward to declare his second wish.

So, Scruffy thought hard and deep about what other changes he might ask for to make himself feel even more special.  Then a thought popped into his head and he said; “Mr. Reddington, all the other dogs have only one tail.  I would like to have five tails to help me more easily keep the flies away and to better display my enthusiasm for life.”  “Okay, Scruffy, I will grant you your wish for five tails.”  Immediately, Scruffy started wagging all five of his tails to display to Mr. Reddington just how very pleased he was with the second wish granted.

Some time had now passed since Mr. Reddington had granted him his first two wishes.  Yet, Scruffy still had three wishes left.  Next, he decided that it might be nice to have three eyes instead of two. “Three eyes will allow me to better observe my surroundings and see more places that I might want to visit.”  Obligingly,  Mr. Reddington granted Scruffy his third wish.

The little dog now had just two wishes remaining.  So, Scruffy thought, “the last two wishes must be very well chosen because I don’t want to use them on something only to find out that I was dissatisfied with them or that I could have wished more wisely for something that would make me feel even more special.”  Mr. Reddington, I said; “do you suppose that I could think about my other two wishes overnight and meet you back here tomorrow?”  Mr. Reddington replied, “Yes, if you will come back to this very same place tomorrow, I will grant you your two more wishes.”  With that plan being agreed to, Scruffy went happily on his way home with his three eyes, five tails, and his pretty new coat of green that was blended in with the color of the grass in his yard.

That night, when Scruffy went to sleep, he dreamed about his day with Mr. Reddington and his five little wishes.  Scruffy rested easily because he was very pleased with the results of his first three wishes.  He also dreamed about the last two remaining wishes, trying to be sure that he prepared for by making wise choices about what to ask for.  He dreamed of traveling and thought how he might like to have wings so he could fly; and, he dreamed of having all the bones he could ever eat.  

While flying high in the sky in his dream, he saw a group of hunters below him in the fields.  His three eyes allowed him to see that they were carrying shotguns and he thought quite likely that they would think that he was a bird of prey and they could shoot for sport.  Flying as high and  just as fast as he could, he tried to get away from the hunters and their guns.  His dream was coming near  to a close when Scruffy landed safely on the ground and he saw  Mr. Reddington was there beside him.   At the very end of this dream, Mr. Reddington cautioned Scruffy about what he asked for and told him; “If you want to travel, I can easily transport you from one place to another so you really don’t need clunky wings that will only weigh you down when you have no need to fly.  And, as for wishing for bones, Scruffy, there will always be a kind person who can throw a hungry scruff like you, a bone.  “So, why waste your last two wishes on wings and bones?”  In the morning Scruffy remembered his dream and Mr. Reddington’s wise cautions.   Now fully awake, Scruffy made his way back through the woods to the same place where he had first met Mr. Reddington  just the day before.

When he arrived at the clearing in the woods where he and Mr. Reddington had met the day before, Mr. Reddington was nowhere to be found.  Scruffy started worrying that Mr. Reddington might never come back and he would be out his final two wishes.  Suddenly, Mr. Reddington’s shadow appeared on the sun drenched field just outside of the wooded area where they met yesterday.  “Well, little dog, have you given plenty of thought to what your last two wishes will be?”  “Of course, Scruffy replied.”  “Alright then, if you tell me what you want to ask for, I will grant your last two wishes and be on my way to make others happy with my powers to grant them wishes.” All of a sudden, Scruffy started to talk and before he knew what he was saying, “I’d like to have a purple tongue.”  And, as he had already agreed with Mr. Reddington, he  knew that he could not take back or change this wish.

Regretfully, Scruffy had wasted wish number four.  He surely wanted to make his final wish meaningful.  So, he told Mr. Reddington that he wanted to travel, just as he had dreamed, but without wings.  Mr. Reddington asked, “Have you any place special in mind?”  “Why no, Scruffy said.  I haven’t thought of a special place.  So Mr. Reddington said, “I know a very nice place for you to go.”  So, Scruffy trusted Mr. Reddington and let him use his own judgement about where he should travel.

In the very next moment, Scruffy found himself at the Isle of Canines in the Hamlet of Human Treasures.  Now the nice thing about this place is that dogs ruled over people.  It is nothing to see dogs walking their people on leashes.  Isle of Canines even has what are known as “treasure catchers,” dogs who capture people who have managed to escape from their owners.

Scruffy had been at Isle of Canines only a few days observing all the strange and unusual things.  But, he was starting to get homesick.   Surprisingly, Scruffy came upon another little dog and they instantly became BFFs.  Scruffy thought how nice to have a friend who can go go everywhere with me to keep me company.  So they romped and played away the days together and for a while longer, Scruffy was not homesick.  After all that romping and playing though, it wasn’t long before Scruffy got tired and hungry, and missed his Mistress. “Oh, how nice a big juicy bone would be now.”  Of course, in the Isle of Canines, in the Hamlet of Human Treasures, the dogs ruled over people and only people were given bones for their good behaviors by their people owners–other dogs like him.  Scruffy felt very strange, indeed, having to sit back and watch people chewing on all those nice big juicy bones instead of him.  It was at this moment that Scruffy regretted his wishes but remembered what Mr. Reddington had said about the conditions of granting them–and, one of those conditions was Scruffy could never bite anyone.  But, he thought to himself, maybe this was the only way he could ever hope to get back home.  In his state of confusion over what to do, Scruffy went to his BFF and told him he was homesick and wanted to get back to the family that had always showed him love and cared for him.  His friend and he talked about the condition of the wishes that included “no biting.”  So, his BFF agreed to let Scruffy  bite him to help him return to home and reunite with his family.  With tears running down his cheeks, Scruffy opened his mouth wide and took a bite of his BFF.  He waited for a few minutes and nothing happened.  He looked around with his three eyes and found he hadn’t moved at all–he was still in the Isle of Canines in the Hamlet of Human Treasures, his wooly coat still green, and his tails were no longing wagging.

What else might he do to get back home again?  He kept remembering all the big juicy bones he had buried or chewed on–just like all those other ordinary dogs do.  The more he thought about the bones, the more his mouth watered.  He also remembered seeing some people nearby chewing on a bone and he thought he’d just go up to them and ask if he could have one.  But, when he asked, they looked at him quizzically,  refused him, and even heartily laughed in his face.  He even tried to take a bone away from them, but, of course, they were bigger and wouldn’t let loose.  He became very angry.  He hadn’t had a bone in such a long time and he was ravaged with hunger.  Finally, he raged and chased the people away, but one of the people stayed behind to protect their all-important bone.  Scruffy’s anger swelled up inside him and kept getting deeper and deeper.  He thought he was going to burst open with anger.    So in despair, he opened his mouth to grab the bone away from the person guarding it.  When he opened his mouth wide to grab the bone, Scruffy’s teeth accidentally bit the person’s hand.  Suddenly, he opened his two eyes, wagged his only tail, saw his wooly coat was brown, and there he stood–at home and in front of his mistress.  He was so very pleased to be back with his loving family.  Together, Scruffy and his mistress  went  into his house where he was immediately given a big juicy bone to call his own.  When chewing on that tasty bone, Scruffy thought, ”How would I have gotten home again if I had wished for all the bones I could ever eat.”

And, “I am special, I always have been special, just look at my mistresses face; how happy she is because we are back together as a family!”

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