By Linda Porter Carlyle
MacKenzie Isabelle Evans watched the fat raindrops chase each other down the car window. She sniffed disgustedly. “I don’t know why it has to rain today!” she exclaimed. “I don’t care if it rains tomorrow! But why does it have to rain today?”
“It’s winter,” Mom answered patiently. “It rains in the winter.”
“I know! I know!” Mac said, squirming on the car seat. “But why does it have to rain today? I wanted to take Buffy for a walk! I wish it weren’t raining!”
Mom sighed. “I wish you would stop complaining,” she said. “Mrs. Pastor Chuck is going to be sorry she invited you to stay with her today if all you do is complain about the weather.”
Mac thought about that for a moment. At least she’d get to play indoors with Buffy. And she was going to spend the day with one of her favorite people, Mrs. Pastor Chuck, instead of having to go with Mom and sit quietly beside her at her grown-up’s meeting. Things could be worse. Even if it was raining.
Mac entertained herself for the rest of the drive thinking about bad things that weren’t happening. She wasn’t on her way to the doctor’s office for a shot. She wasn’t lost in a blizzard. She didn’t have to swim across a river filled with crocodiles.
“Hi!” Mrs. Pastor Chuck greeted Mac and Mom as she opened her front door. “I’m glad to see you!” She gave Mac a hug in spite of her drippy wet raincoat.
“Thanks for letting Mac come over today,” Mom said. “I’ll be back to pick her up about four o’clock. Be good!” she reminded Mac and kissed her on the cheek.
“I’m glad Mac could come,” Mrs. Pastor Chuck answered cheerfully. “We’re going to have a great time together. Maybe she can help me with my big project. I’m cleaning out the closet in our office here at home. It has turned into a sort of miniature junk room!”
Mac grinned. She didn’t much like cleaning out her own closet at home, but it might be fun to help Mrs. Pastor Chuck clean out hers!
Suddenly Buffy dashed into the living room. She ran over to Mac, her little stumpy tail wiggled back and forth.
“Buffy!” Mac exclaimed, dropping to her knees. “I wish I could take you for a walk! But we’ll have fun playing inside anyway. We can play tug-of-war. Where’s your sock?”
“I don’t know where her sock is,” Mrs. Pastor Chuck said. She hung up Mac’s raincoat. “You’ll have to look for it. It could be anywhere.” She smiled. “Go ahead and play with Buffy for a while,” she said. “I’ll be in the closet if you need me.”
Mac looked around the living room. Buffy’s knotted-up sock toy was not there. She looked in the kitchen. It wasn’t there either. She hurried down the hall to the bedroom. There it was—on the far side of the bed.
Mac picked up the sock.
Mac threw the sock down the hall.
Buffy raced after it, and Mac raced after Buffy.
“I don’t think you should run so fast in the house,” Mrs. Pastor Chuck called from the office.
“OK,” Mac answered. She grabbed one end of Buffy’s sock. Buffy held the other end firmly in her teeth.
Mac shook the sock back and forth.
Buffy growled and growled.
Mac laughed. She pulled the sock away from Buffy and threw it across the living room.
Buffy ran after it.
Mac chased Buffy around and around the coffee table.
“Stop running in the living room!” Mrs. Pastor Chuck called.
“OK,” Mac answered. She dived for the sock.
Buffy held on and growled.
When Mac got the sock once again, she threw it under the dining table.
Buffy scrambled between chair legs to get it.
Mac laughed. She waited for Buffy to come out from the chair leg jungle, then she chased her down the hall again.
“Stop running so fast in the house. You’re going to end up hurting yourself!” Mrs. Pastor Chuck shouted.
Mac slowed down. “I’m sorry!” she said.
Buffy dodged back the other way and ran with her sock right past Mac into the living room.
Mac walked after her with really, really big steps.
Buffy stood on the far side of the room, waiting. She growled in anticipation.
Mac flopped down on the couch and pretended to ignore her.
Buffy watched Mac. Then she sort of dog-tip-toed over to the couch to see what Mac was doing there.
“Ha!” Mac exclaimed. She reached out and grabbed the sock from Buffy.
Buffy barked and jumped.
Mac threw the sock down the hall, and Buffy shot after it.
Mac hid beside the bookcase and waited. Soon Buffy reappeared, the sock hanging out of her mouth. She walked into the living room and stopped.
Mac sprang out and grabbed for the sock.
Buffy dashed around the coffee table. Mac chased her. Around and around and around.
And then Mac slipped. She flailed her arms and tried to catch herself, but she couldn’t. She crashed straight into the TV and knocked it off the old trunk it was setting on! Continued next week