MUSED
BellaOnline Literary Review
Eagle Landing by Albert Rollins

Fiction


Chloe´s Secret

Gail Mitkoff and Lisa J. Michaels

Moey, Joey and Chloe were eight weeks old and too young for puppy food. After breakfast with Mama, Moey announced, “I’m going for a run.”

Mama warned, “Just don’t leave the farm.”

“I’m coming too!” Joey bounced with excitement.

They scampered off in the morning sun that spilled over the peaks of the great Smoky Mountains.

Chloe loved to play with her brothers. “Wait for me!” she screamed. Her voice was loud and could be heard across the farm.

“Come on, Chloe!” Moey and Joey cried. “You’re such a slow poke.”

“You’re going too fast,” she yelled, picking up speed.

Chloe loved the farm. When water flowed, they watched rainbows unfold over tumbling waterfalls. When wildflowers bloomed, they swam in cool wet streams. It was always wonderful. Then one day, everything changed.

Families began to arrive. Each one looked the puppies over.

“We want the perfect puppy for our kids,” explained one father.

His daughter snuggled Joey. “This one’s awesome!” she giggled.

A young boy rubbed Moey’s soft pink belly. “I want this one!” he shrieked with delight.

They snuggled and cuddled the puppies, but always placed Chloe gently back down to reach for another.

“This is so strange,” she thought. “No one wants to take me home. Everyone laughs and says I’m not the best.”

She cried to her brothers, “Why don’t they want me?”

“Don’t worry, Chloe,” said Joey. “Some people don’t like puppies with wiggly, squiggly tails.”

“But it wags,” explained Chloe, as she turned and looked at her tail. “Does that mean I’ll never find a family to love me?”

“Maybe not,” Moey gasped as he stared at Chloe’s tail. “You are different!”

“Our tails waggle back and forth,” Joey showed her. His straight tail was dancing with a swoosh from side to side.

Moey giggled, “Yours curls and swirls and twists ‘round and ‘round like a spaghetti noodle!”

“Don’t worry, Chloe. I think you’re wonderfully different!” Joey exclaimed proudly.

Chloe whispered, “At least my tail is where it belongs.” She wiped her tears.

“That’s true. It’s just that it squiggles and wiggles before it wags,” chuckled Moey.

“That’s enough, Moey. You’re not very helpful,” said Joey. “Perhaps God has a better idea.”

Chloe got excited. “Maybe the family I’m meant to be with hasn’t arrived yet!”

“Of course! That’s it!” Joey jumped in happy circles, “God made you perfect, for them!”

Moey laughed, “Hee, hee...I hope they like spaghetti.”

Later that day, Chloe watched her brothers leave the farm with their new families. That night, she tossed and turned and had terrible, frightening thoughts. “What if God forgets about me? What if my family can’t find me?”

The next morning, Chloe trudged through the kitchen feeling very grumpy. She was just settling down for breakfast with Mama, and feeling very alone without her brothers, when the phone rang.

"Yes, we’re looking for a little girl,” said the caller. “We already have two Westie boys.”

Chloe felt better immediately. She continued to listen.

“Thank you, we would love to visit the farm and meet Chloe, but we live too far away. Can you send pictures?”

Chloe panicked. “What about my tail?” She looked in the mirror and moaned.

Chloe wondered what she should do. “I have a wonderful idea!” she said. “I’ll keep my tail a secret, then they’ll want me for sure!

Chloe decided to play dress-up for her pictures. She was “Super Dog,” “Princess Chloe,” and “Hula girl.” When her pictures arrived, everyone thought she was adorable. Of course, her tail was nowhere to be found!

When the time came for Chloe to meet her new family, they were waiting in the yard. There were dozens of children, who screamed, “Look, it’s our Chloe!” as they ran to surround her.

“Oh, no!” she thought. “What about my secret? They’ll see my tail and send me back to the farm.” She couldn’t breathe.

Then she looked up and noticed that all the kids were different in some way. They were different sizes, shapes and colors, and it didn’t seem to matter. Some had springy curls, and some had wispy bangs that blew sideways in the mountain breeze.

What they all had in common were big smiles for Chloe. They each took turns patting her on the head, scratching behind her ears, and pulling her tail out straight, so that they could watch it curl and swirl ‘round and ‘round like a spaghetti noodle.

Chloe exhaled, relaxed, and let her tongue roll out to one side. Her brother Joey had been right. She had been born for this family. God had made her different for a reason… for them. And she knew that she’d found the home where she could spend the rest of her days playing in the morning sun.

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