By: Joanne Carol Boling Dickinson and Grandson, Robert Joseph Dickinson III
June 12, 2021
Below is a short story that I wrote as a writing assignment when I was 13 years old and attending Junior High School. With help from my eldest grandson, Joe, we recently added a few descriptive adjectives and adverbs and updated the characters and environment. I want to dedicate this story as a lesson to my nearly 10 great-grandchildren: Sara, Brandon, Laken, Lacie, Elaina, Noah, Ryan, Jackson, Lydia, and soon-to-be Roman. It’s a story that proves education can be fun and plays an important part in your future’s livelihood.
I consider this work copyrighted by me and not for redistribution by others. I would appreciate any suggestions or comments you might have.
There was once a wooly brown pup named Hashbrown. He and Molly lived in a small house next to Mr. Reddington’s woods. Hashbrown and Molly would start each day with a walk, play games, enjoy their favorite snacks, and before leaving for school, Molly would share her special secrets and plans with him. Hashbrown knew he was Molly’s forever friend, but sometimes he felt sad. More than anything else in the world, Hashbrown wanted to feel special.
On one of those days, Hashbrown went for a walk alone in Mr. Reddington’s woods. Mr. Reddington was a troll with a blushing red face, pointy ears, and fiery red hair. His enchanting shadow glowed with multi-colored light rays, “Hello,” Mr. Reddington bellowed, as he was always happy to see his old friend Hashbrown.
Upon approaching him, Hashbrown didn’t seem too happy. He was crouching down and looking at the ground. Hashbrown wiped a tear from his eye.
“What’s wrong little one?” asked Mr. Reddington.
“I want to feel special, but I’m just like any other dog.”
“Hmm,” Mr. Reddington scratched at his beard. “Maybe I can help you.”
Hashbrown looked up doubtingly.
“I am after all a troll who has magical powers. What would it take to make you feel special?”
Hashbrown thought for a moment. “I think I would like to be green so that I can blend in with grass and dog catchers won’t easily see me.” Mr. Reddington winked. Poof! Hashbrown was as green as the summer’s grass. He looked at his reflection in a nearby pond and decided he liked being green.
“Do you feel special yet?” asked Mr. Reddington.
Hashbrown thought for a while. “Other dogs have only one tail. Could I have extra tails to keep the flies away?”
Mr. Reddington winked. Poof! Hashbrown had five tails! Before long, Hashbrown had wished for a third eye, a purple tongue, super speed, bigger ears, and tiger stripes.
Once again, Mr. Reddington asked, “Do you feel special yet?”
“I’m not sure. Could I come back tomorrow after I’ve had a night to sleep on it?”
Mr. Reddington agreed. With that, Hashbrown headed home. He raced down the path, across the lawn, and barged through the front door. Hashbrown was excited to show Molly how special he had become.
However, Molly took one look at Hashbrown and screamed in fright! Molly didn’t recognize him and thought Hashbrown was a monster. She chased him out of her house with a broom!
Hashbrown ran out of the house and back into the woods where he cried himself to sleep. That night, he dreamed he was traveling with wings like a bird. Molly was riding on his back with a big smile on her face. A group of hunters spotted them and began to give chase. Hashbrown flew high into the sky and they were soon out of sight. Later, he sat with Molly on a green hill and munched on a giant mound of bones.
Hashbrown woke up as the sun was rising. He rushed off to find Mr. Reddington. “Well?”, asked Mr. Reddington, “Do you feel special now?”
“No, I don’t,” barked Hashbrown. “Molly thinks I’m a monster” I just want you to give me wings so I can fly away and find some tasty bones.”
“Well, where would you like to fly to little dog? I know a very nice place for you to go if you trust me.”
Poof! In that moment, Hashbrown found himself at the Isle of Canines. Here, people wore leashes, there were people catchers for the humans, and dogs were in charge.
Unfortunately, Hashbrown wasn’t exactly a dog anymore. Everywhere poor Hashbrown went the other dogs looked at him in terror.
Hashbrown saw a group of other dogs playing and chewing on bones. His mouth watered. His tummy rumbled. Cautiously, Hashbrown approached the other dogs hoping they would share with him. The other dogs looked at Hashbrown with fright. When they wouldn’t share their bones, Hashbrown roared in anger! He snarled and showed his teeth. He was so hungry he had decided to just take the bones!
The other dogs yelped and ran away at top speeds. Seeing the looks in the other dogs’ faces, Hashbrown thought to himself, “I haven’t made myself special. I’ve turned myself into a monster. I just want to go home to Molly.”
Poof! Hashbrown was back in the woods with Mr. Reddington and he was his old self again. “Mr. Reddington! Oh, I’m so happy to be back! Thank you.!”
With that, Hashbrown raced home to see his Molly. He barged through the door and jumped up into Molly’s arms. Molly was so happy to see him, too. She gave him a big hug and a kiss and treated him to a big juicy bone.
Later, Hashbrown and Molly were playing ball in their yard. Hashbrown thought to himself, “I didn’t need to change anything about me to be special! I was special all along–just ask Molly!”