Once upon a time, just the other day, there lived a family of five just down the street. Some days Momma stayed home, and some days Daddy stayed home. Every day Ava Anne, Savannah Lynn, and Hunter Thomas stayed home. Nothing extravagant ever seemed to happen. In fact, every day seemed almost the same as the day before. When Ava Anne, Savannah Lynn and Hunter Thomas awoke, they would tip-toe out of their bedrooms, down the hall, and to the kitchen. Momma or Daddy would be there or on the nearby couch, reading or eating or doing something uninteresting like sorting mail.
On this particular day, Ava Anne awoke first—or so she thought. She tip-toed down the hall, away from her bedroom, and toward the kitchen. She passed Momma on the couch. Momma said, “Good morning.” Ava Anne just moaned. Her words had not yet found their way to her mouth.
Ava Anne continued on to the kitchen where she reached as high as she could for the box of “Daddy-cereal.” She had called this cereal “Daddy-cereal” for as long as she could remember. It was Daddy’s favorite cereal, and she did not like the real name. Her blue plastic cereal bowl was already on the counter. She poured the cereal in the bowl, then began searching the full refrigerator for the carton of milk. She was happy to find an almost empty carton that was easy to lift and pour.
Finally, Ava Anne carefully carried her cereal back to the couch where Momma sat, waiting.
“How’s my sweet girl this morning,” Momma asked. Ava Anne just shrugged. Her mind had not yet turned on, and her eyes were still blurry.
“Guess what I found this morning,” Momma said. Ava Anne thought it was probably a magazine in the mail or clothes left on the floor. She did not guess.
“Well, I found a cute little puppy,” Momma said. Ava Anne stopped chewing. A puppy! She thought. Momma saw the grin spreading across Ava Anne’s face.
“That’s right,” Momma continued, “look at this sweet little thing.” Ava Anna was so sleepy she had not even noticed the rather large lump under the blanket on Momma’s lap. When Momma pulled back the blanket, Ava Anne saw what “sweet little thing” Momma was talking about. It got up on all four limbs and started walking toward her. Ava Anne began to giggle.
“That’s not a puppy!” She said. “That’s Hunter Thomas.” Indeed, it was Hunter Thomas, her three-year-old brother. He had been curled up on Momma’s lap, under the warmth of a blanket. But when he came out, he crawled like a puppy, barked like a puppy, and even licked Ava Anne’s hand like a puppy.
“Ew!” Ava Anne squealed. “That puppy just licked me!” Momma chuckled.
“Well, he is a puppy,” she said.