“As the Lodge Turns” Episode 44: The Stuff of Legends!

 On this episode of “As the Lodge Turns”…

Just as I lower my head to take a bite, something small and hard smacks against my cheek!

What was that…?

The projectile falls to the side of my left paw, and though I’m apprehensive, I force myself to check. To my surprise, it’s a few stray pieces of kibble! But where did these come from?

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Looking to my left, I see Max with his paw in the food dish, a wide smirk on his long snout. Then that means…Max threw these at me? Before I can confront him, I hear a sharp intake of breath to my right.

“FOOD FIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!!!!”

The puppies of “We All Ate-a Pi” begin flinging their kibble at each other, knocking over their dishes and racing around the yard. Pieces of food fly overhead, into many furry faces, and are then crushed underfoot as other dogs are pulled into the fray. Their mouths are wide open, their tongues lolling as they joyfully wreak havoc; even some of the older Lodge dogs are joining in!

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“You all are a bunch of animals!” Scarlett shrieks, sidestepping a slew of edible missiles.

“You’re too kind!” Pearl replies with a smile before tearing after Shaka and Samwise. Villain trails behind, helping himself to the free food.

Only Takara hangs away from the group, munching on bits of kibble and angrily inspecting several empty bowls. Normally she’s shy and keeps to herself, but now she’s confidently charging through the pack in search of more food. I’ve never seen her so worked up!

“Hey, Bingo!”

I turn towards the sound of Max’s bark, but am rudely greeted with a smattering of kibble pieces. Shaking them off and swallowing a few, I glare at my overly amused friend.

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“Thanks, Cat,” I say, batting a few pieces at him. “Is this your way of getting back at me or something?”

Max continues to laugh in spite of my stern question. “Not at you!”

As our human helpers quickly get the situation under control, a realization dawns on me. The real reason Max wanted us to join the puppies wasn’t so we could return to our younger days…he just wanted to prank them!

The worn-out puppies are led to time-out with grins on their young faces. Passing Max, they grow quiet, nodding to him with an air of pure reverence. At first he shakes his head, but suddenly his expression becomes softer.

He nods back at them.

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Later, when the puppies return to the yard, the epic food fight is already regarded as the stuff of legends. Most dogs greet them with cheers, though Scarlett makes a point to snub them as they race past her.

The group rushes towards us, nearly tripping over their big puppy paws in the effort.

“You got us good, old man!” Samwise declares with a laugh. “We never saw it coming!”

“Yeah, you’re the one who should be teaching us!” Shaka says in an admiring bark.

Max basks in their praise with a cool expression. Though he’s trying his best to seem indifferent to their appreciation, I can see the excited twitch at the corner of his mouth.

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I can’t help but smile at the sight.

“Just remember next time that even though they may not be wild and energetic like you anymore, old dogs have a lot more knowledge and experience. You should be teaching each other,” Max says in his most adult-sounding bark.

The puppies nod, hardly daring to blink as they absorb his words.

“And the truth is…I actually learned a few things from you, too.”

Five pairs of eyes stare up at him in rapt astonishment.

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“Really?! Tell us! What did you learn from us?!” Villain asks, his tail wagging fiercely.

Max pretends to think for a minute, gleefully drawing out the moment of suspense.

“Hmm…well, for instance, now I know that if I ever want to get caught, all I need to do is hang out with you all for a few minutes!”

“I have no idea what you’re referring to,” Samwise says with mock indignation before the puppies all burst into laughter.

“Oh! That reminds me,” Pearl begins, running right up to us, “I picked out a new name for you, Cat!”

Max and I exchange a skeptical look.

“Uh-oh. Well…let’s hear it then,” Max says, closing his eyes in resignation.

Pearl turns to her friends, who all nod their agreement.

“We think ‘Wolf’ is much more appropriate!”

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Max’s eyes widen in surprise, and his mouth finally curves into a smile.

“You’re now official members of ‘We All Ate-a Pi’!”

Me too? But I didn’t get a new new name…

“What about me?” I ask, perhaps a bit too eagerly.

Max, Pearl and the others laugh at my question before running towards the other end of the yard.

“Bingo suits you just fine!”

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As I hurry to catch up with them, my paws light and my legs surging with renewed energy, I can’t help but agree with her!

…to be continued…