Snowy and the Dalmatian

     There once was a kitten named Snowy.  Snowy was pure white with green eyes, and looked just like a little snowball.

     One day, Snowy was playing with her favorite ball.  She was batting it around with her paws and having a really great time when, by accident, she hit it under a fence.

     At first Snowy didn’t know what to do.  She walked all around the fence, trying to see if there was any way to get inside, but it was too high.  So she looked underneath to see where the ball was, and when she found it, she reached under to try to get it.  But no matter how far she stretched, the ball was always just out of reach.

     At this point, Snowy became very upset.  She didn’t know how she was ever going to get her ball back. 

     But as she looked again for a way to get inside the fence, she noticed a squirrel coming down out of a tree.  “I know!” thought Snowy.  “I’ll ask the squirrel to help me get my ball back.”

     So she called out to him in a loud voice, “Excuse me, Mr. Squirrel.  I was wondering if you could help me.  I was playing with my ball and it rolled under a fence.  If you could please crawl under and push my ball back to me, I’d really appreciate it.”

     But the squirrel scowled at Snowy.  “Why should I help you?” he snarled.  “All cats ever do is chase squirrels!  Now you want me to help you … after the way we’ve been treated?”  And the squirrel stuck his nose in the air and walked away.

     “Well, that was awfully rude,” thought Snowy.  “Maybe other cats have chased squirrels, but I never have.”  And she sat back down in the grass and wondered about her ball.

     Just then, she noticed a cat coming towards her down the sidewalk.

     “A cat!” Snowy exclaimed.  “Surely a cat will help me get my ball back!”

     So when the cat came closer, Snowy said to her, “Excuse me, Miss.  If it isn’t too much trouble, could you please help me get my ball back?  It’s rolled under a fence, and you have a much longer reach than I do.  If you could help me, I’d really appreciate it.”

     But the cat pretended not to hear her.  And she, too, stuck her nose in the air and crossed over to the other side of the street.

     “I can’t believe it!” said Snowy in disgust.  “Not even a cat will help me!  I’m never going to get my ball back!”

     But as she was saying this, she noticed something move out of the corner of her eye.  When she looked up, she saw a huge black and white Dalmatian coming right at her.  “What do you want?” Snowy hissed as she backed away.

     “I noticed you were having a problem and I wanted to help,” said the Dalmatian.

     “Help?” repeated Snowy in disbelief.  “I thought dogs hated cats!  Why would you want to help me?”

     “We should always help those who are in need,” said the Dalmatian.  “And not all dogs hate cats.  I happen to like cats very much.”

     So the Dalmatian reached his paw under the fence and grabbed the ball.  He gave it to Snowy, and she purred with appreciation.   “Thank you very much!  I never imagined a dog would be so nice to a cat!”

     “I’m just glad I could help,” said the Dalmatian.

          From that day forward, Snowy and the Dalmatian were the best of friends, thanks to a ball that rolled under a wooden fence.

Excerpted from Shine Like the Sun: A Collection of Children’s Stories by Adam Soto