“As the Lodge Turns” Episode 15: A Rematch?!

 On this episode of “As the Lodge Turns”…

“Why did you let me win?!”

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Noir’s words take me by surprise! For once my beagle intuition didn’t lead me astray – he really is mad at me…

“What are you talking about? You won, fair and square! I’m not usually such a fast runner and I guess my luck ran out at the end,” I say as calmly as I can, trying to play it cool.

Friends

Noir tilts his head to the side. “Do I look like I was born yesterday? There’s no way you slowed down that much by chance!”

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I seem to have made things worse! Maybe I should just tell him the truth…

“It’s because I have one eye, isn’t it?”

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My heart sinks. Noir stares at me with a look of deep disappointment, and I’ve never felt so ashamed. Not knowing what to say, I lower my gaze to the ground.

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“I’m sorry…” I say with a quiet bark, tail tucked between my legs.

“Look…I don’t mean to embarrass you or anything. I just don’t want you thinking I need special treatment because one of my eyes is missing. It doesn’t affect my ability to keep up with other dogs, or to win. And I win a lot!”

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Noir presses his nose to my shoulder. “So you don’t have to hold back on my account, okay?”

I really was a fool. I made assumptions about Noir without knowing him, and all my good intentions backfired. How can I make it up to him?

…that’s it!

“Noir,” I say, raising my head, “are you up for a rematch?”

His mouth breaks into a cocky smile and his tail wags with renewed exuberance.

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“That’s what I’m talking about! Let’s give it our all this time!”

As we stand in place at the starting point, Lucy gathers a crowd to cheer us on. My heart beats faster when I think of her watching and rooting for me twice in one day!

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This time, I’ll win the right way, Lucy. I promise.

“On your mark…get set…”

I take one last look at Noir. The determination in his face makes me proud to race him. He’ll be tough to beat!

“…GO!”

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It takes me a few seconds to build my earlier momentum, but by the time we’re rounding the first corner I’ve hit my stride. Noir keeps the lead by a few inches, so I have to give this my all!

 

“Go Bing! Go Noir!”

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After the first lap we’re almost tied, but I slip on the turf and can’t recover fast enough. Noir speeds ahead of me, and by the time I get to my feet, it’s like we’re miles apart.

“Come on Bing, you can do it!”

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Maia’s encouraging bark gets me moving again. I push myself hard to make up for the lost distance.

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In the final lap, I’ve almost caught up with him! My view suddenly narrows, like I’m running in a long tunnel. I hear Noir panting beside me, and I know he’s pushing himself just as hard.

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It’ll be a close one!

“GO BING! GO NOIR! GO BING! GO NOIR!”

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“You’ve got this Bing!”

Lucy’s cheering gives me the strength I need to make it to the finish!

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Almost…there…

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In a split second we’ve finished the race! Noir and I stand there panting as the Lodge dogs swarm around us.

“So…who won?” Noir asks between shallow breaths.

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“Well, it was a close one, but the winner was…” Maia begins, her eyes glimmering mischievously.

My ears perk up. Who could it be?!

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“…both of you! It was a tie!”

Noir comes to stand in front of me, his tail wagging with excitement.

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“Looks like we’re evenly matched, huh? But watch out because I’m gonna win next time!”

“I won’t hold back either! You’re tough competition,” I say, dropping into a play bow.

 

Out of the corner of my eye I catch Lucy beaming at me, and I feel as though I won by a landslide…

…to be continued…