Once there were twin poodles named Taffy and Skippy, who always got into trouble. They dug in the neighbors’ flower gardens, ran into traffic, and ate the mail.
Taffy had black fur, and Skippy had white fur, and together they looked like a Dalmatian. Seven-year-old Marie Moyer put them on short leashes and kept them close to her.
“Sit!” Marie would say to the twins, who did the exact opposite of what she said. She still loved them anyway and hoped that they would soon learn obedience. She washed their fluffy coats and gave them tasty dog food and even human food.
Then one day, they pulled so hard on the leashes that the leather cords snapped. Since Taffy and Skippy were stronger than Marie, she couldn’t catch them. The dogs dug under the white backyard fence and ran off into downtown.
“Oh no!” Marie cried, grabbing her red bicycle, and pedaling after her twin poodles. “Stop!” she yelled at the poodles as they almost got hit by a truck.
She slammed on her bike brakes, only to hear police sirens from the Dog Pound van. Taffy and Skippy barked at the nasty man from the Dog Pound with the net.
“Wait!” Marie said. “My poodles! Don’t take them! Stop! The leashes broke!”
Before Marie could stop him, the man from the Dog Pound scooped them up in his net. He threw the poodles in the back of his van, slammed the door shut, and drove off.
“Now I have to pay the pound!” Marie said, pedaling back to her home to get her piggy bank. When Marie arrived at her house, she grabbed a hammer from her dad’s workbench. She took it into her bedroom and slammed it on the top of her piggy bank.
The piggy bank fell apart into many pieces and out came $23.00. She shoved the money into her pocket and pedaled to the Dog Pound as fast as she could. When she got to the Dog Pound, a crooked sign hung on the wall saying: “$12.50 per Dog.”
“I need two dollars fast!” Marie said, scratching her head and wondering where to get the money. “The Tooth Fairy to the rescue!” Marie said, remembering how the Tooth Fairy brings one dollar a tooth.
She had many baby teeth in her mouth that could be loosened sooner than originally intended. When she got back to her house, she threw her bike on the driveway and ran into the bathroom. She wiggled her two front teeth as hard as she could, back-and-forth and back-and-forth. When she finally got the teeth free from her mouth, she ran to her dad and smiled.
“What happened to your teeth?” he said, holding her face with shock.
“I have to get Taffy and Skippy from the pound!” Marie said, showing her dad her teeth.
“Why didn’t you just ask me for the money?” the father said, staring at her toothless smile.
“Well, I thought I would ask the Tooth Fairy! He pays a dollar a tooth,” Marie said.
“The Tooth Fairy!” the father said. “Here’s $25. Go get those crazy poodles!”
Marie looked at her front teeth in her hand and felt silly for pulling them out.
“Thanks Dad,” she said, kissing him on the cheek. “I should have asked you first. I was just going to write the Tooth Fairy a letter, explaining the problem . . .”
“A letter! You were going to write the Tooth Fairy a letter about those dogs?” the father said. “Just put your teeth under your pillow tonight for the Tooth Fairy. I’m sure she’ll leave you two dollars. Your permanent teeth will grow in eventually . . .”
Marie ran into her bedroom and placed her teeth in her tiny Tooth Fairy pillow under her big pillow. Then she ran out the front door with her father’s money to get Taffy and Skippy from the Pound. She hoped people would understand why she was missing her front teeth when she smiled. Surely someone must have asked the Tooth Fairy for money in emergencies other than Marie.
Copyright 2015 Jennifer Waters
Dedicated to my mother, Darlene Waters, and her dogs Taffy and Skippy.