“Oh, what is it?” asked Hal.
“It’s a—it’s a lion!” cried the frightened Sammie. “A great—great big lion, all fuzzy like!”
“Oh, it couldn’t be a lion, Sammie,” said Mr. Blake. “Tell me what it is that scared you.”
“‘Tis a lion,” said Sammie again. “He ran after me an’ I ran an’ he ran in the bushes an’ he’s there now. He barked at me!”
“Ho! If he barked it’s a dog,” cried Hal. “Where is he, Sammie?”
“In there,” and Sammie pointed to the tangle of morning glory vines. Just then Mab saw something that made her call out:
“Why it is a dog. It’s our dog—Roly-Poly!”
“Are you sure?” asked her father. “Roly is over at Mr. Thompson’s house you know,” for the little poodle had been sent away while the garden was being made. Mr. Thompson had planted nothing, having too small a yard.
“I don’t care!” exclaimed Mab. “I did see Roly. He’s in the bushes there—under the morning glories.”
“Well, if it’s your dog Roly I would not be so frightened of him,” said Sammie. “Only I thinked he was a lion.”
“Here, Roly! Roly-Poly, come on out!” cried Hal, and out came a very queer-looking dog indeed. It was Roly, but how he had changed. He was all stuck over with leaves, grass and bits of bark from the trees. He certainly did “fuzzy,” as Sammie had said, and not at all like the nice, clean poodle he had been.
“Oh, whatever is the matter with him?” cried Mab.
“He’s got a lot of leaves stuck on him,” added Hal. “Come here, Roly, and I’ll pull ’em off for you.”
Roly came running over to Hal, but when the little boy tried to get the leaves, grass and bits of bark off his pet he found out what was the matter.
“Roly’s all stuck up in fly paper!” cried Hal. “Look!”
“In fly paper?” asked Mr. Blake. “Are you sure?”
“Yes, he must have sat down in some fly paper, and it stuck to him all over, and then he rolled in the leaves and grass,” answered Hal.
“And then the leaves and grass stuck to the fly paper,” added Mab. “Oh, you poor Roly-Poly!”
The little poodle dog must have known how he looked, and he must have felt quite badly, for he just stretched out at the feet of Hal, who had jumped over the fence, and he howled and howled and howled, Roly-Poly did.
“I wonder how it happened?” asked Mr. Blake. “But we must take Roly-Poly in the house and wash him. Then he’ll feel better and look better. Did he scare you very much, Sammie?”
“A—a little bit. When I saw him in our yard, all fuzzy like, I thought sure he was a lion.”
Mrs. Porter came out, having heard her little boy crying, and when she saw Roly-Poly she laughed.
Then she said:
“You poor dog. Come over and I’ll squirt the hose on you. That will take off some of the fly paper.”
“Oh, let me squirt it!” cried Hal. “Roly loves to be squirted on! Let me do it!”