Rosco the Ras­cal Vis­its the Pump­kin Patch

The Borneo Post - Good English - - Front Page -

IT WAS a beau­ti­ful Septem­ber morn­ing. Ten-year-old James and seven-year-old Mandy McKen­drick thought they couldn’t sit still one minute longer. It had been a long drive. “We’re here fi­nally,” James an­nounced. The mini­van came to a stop in the farm’s park­ing lot. James pushed the but­ton to open the au­to­matic slid­ing door next to his seat.

The door slid open, and Rosco, their Ger­man shep­herd, leaped out be­fore any­one could stop him.

“Rosco, come back here! Bad dog!” called Mandy. But her shouts were use­less. A small pump­kin was on the move, and it had caught Rosco’s eye as they’d ap­proached the farm.

Rosco had never seen a pump­kin be­fore. As it rolled down a gen­tle hill, he thought it looked like some­thing he’d love to chase.

It was early in the morn­ing, and not many peo­ple had ar­rived on the farm yet. The wide, grassy field was empty ex­cept for this lively dog.

A man wear­ing a western hat reached out to stop the rest of his pump­kins from rolling out of the wheel­bar­row as Rosco raced af­ter the pump­kin.

Brother and sis­ter James and Mandy jumped out of the mini­van, ex­chang­ing a wor­ried look. This kind of thing had never hap­pened on their trip to the pump­kin patch be­fore. Their ras­cally, large dog was al­ready at least fifty feet away from them and still run­ning at break­neck speed.

“Uh oh,” Mandy said slowly. She watched as Rosco caught up to the pump­kin and sank his big teeth straight into the stem.

Then Rosco lifted his head. The pump­kin had be­come stuck in his teeth!

“Oh, my good­ness!” Mom said as she ap­proached.

But Rosco didn’t mind the pump­kin be­ing stuck there and be­gan to run again. He ran to­ward the man in the hat, com­ing just close enough to tease him. The man tried to grab the pump­kin from him. But Rosco stayed out of reach. <I love to play keep-away>, Rosco thought.

Even with a pump­kin stuck in his teeth, Rosco still wore a mis­chievous grin.

“Come

here, pooch!”

the man

called, smil­ing.

The kids now stood near the man, try­ing to coax Rosco back. Their mom and dad started to cross the field to­ward them, hol­ler­ing this and that. But noth­ing worked.

“Rosco, come here! That’s not yours! Give it back!” or­dered Mandy. “You’ll get your own pump­kin later!”

James started to chase Rosco, but that made Rosco run even faster be­cause he wanted to be chased. The dog switched di­rec­tions ev­ery time James got close. His tail wagged ev­ery time he slowed down. <This game never gets old>, Rosco thought.

“He’s only go­ing to keep run­ning away if you chase him,” Mandy said.

Rosco ran an­other wide cir­cle around them, and then trot­ted closer. Mandy started for his col­lar, but he bolted away be­fore she could reach him.

<Who wants to try next?> Rosco thought.

But Mandy had run out of pa­tience. Ev­ery­one else had too, ex­cept for Rosco. Mandy stomped her foot.”Give it to me, Rosco! Now!”

The man in the hat had an­other idea.”Here, boy.” He held out one hand to the dog.

“I won’t chase you, buddy,” he ex­plained softly.”My kids are over there wait­ing, and I know you’re too fast for me.”

He turned and waved to three small chil­dren and a sweet look­ing woman next to a sil­ver pick-up truck. They waved back.

He pointed to the pump­kin in Rosco’s mouth.”My son picked that one out all by him­self this morn­ing. He was re­ally hop­ing to carve it into a jack-o-lantern come late Oc­to­ber. And we have to be on our way soon.”

Rosco lis­tened, tilt­ing his head to one side. He trot­ted up to the man, sat down, and low­ered his head. The doggy smile fi­nally dis­ap­peared. His eyes now bore an apol­ogy.

Rosco tried to let the pump­kin go, but it was still stuck. He was be­gin­ning to drool all over it.

Rosco wanted this nice man’s son to have his pump­kin back. He didn’t want to spoil any­one’s fun. He had only wanted to have a lit­tle fun of his own.

The man squat­ted down in front of the dog. He reached out kindly and pulled the pump­kin from Rosco’s teeth, quite sur­prised to have it re­turned. Rosco’s fangs had done some dam­age. Two deep holes were left. But the pump­kin was still in one piece.

“Well, there we are! I guess we can still carve this, you ol’ ras­cal,” the man de­cided.”What’s your dog’s name?” he said to the kids.

James told him that his ras­cal of a dog was named Rosco.

“Well, Rosco, I thought this pump­kin was a goner! But I think it’ll be fine!”

He picked up the small pump­kin and waved it at his kids. They cheered for their dad and the big, shiny, black dog that had put on such an en­ter­tain­ing show.

Mandy apol­o­gised for her dog and told the man that Rosco was still just a big puppy.”He can be in­cor­ri­gi­ble at times, or so my mother says.”

“No harm done,” said the man.

He gave Rosco a tough look, then grinned widely at him, nod­ding to Mandy, James, and Mr. and Mrs. McKen­drick.

Mandy reached for Rosco’s leash from Mom and fas­tened it onto his col­lar.

“Leave other peo­ple’s pump­kins alone next time,” Mandy warned Rosco. Then she scratched his soft head as she whis­pered to him,”but good boy for giv­ing it back!”

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