Read STORY XXVIII - JIMMIE AND JACKIE BOW WOW of Lulu‚ Alice and Jimmie Wibblewobble, free online book, by Howard R. Garis, on ReadCentral.com.

When Alice reached the duckpen that night, after she had gone visiting Sister Sallie, and was brought home by the puppy dogs, she told her folks all about it.

“Jackie and Peetie Bow Wow, eh?” remarked Jimmie, her brother, when she had told their names.  “I never heard of them.  They must be new around here.”

“They are,” answered Alice.  “But they are just as cute as they can be; really they are.”

“Cute, eh?” asked Jimmie.  “Can they play ball?”

“I don’t know,” replied his sister.  “But you ought to see them pull on that old boot and the bone!  Oh, it was too funny!”

“And they took good care of you, didn’t they,” asked Lulu.

“Indeed, they did,” answered Alice.  “They weren’t afraid of anything, even when an owl hooted.”

So the next day, which was Saturday, when there wasn’t any school, Jimmie started off with his wooden bat over his shoulder, his catching glove under one wing and his ball under the other.

“Where are you going?” asked his mother.

“I’m going over to Mrs. Bow Wow’s house to see if I can find the puppy dogs,” he said.  “I want to get acquainted with them.”

“All right, Jimmie, but be sure to wipe your feet if you go in Mrs. Bow Wow’s house, and don’t forget to take off your cap and say ‘yes, ma’am,’ and ‘no, ma’am,’ Jimmie.”

“S’posin’ she doesn’t ask me anything?” inquired Jimmie.  “What’ll I say?”

“Well, then, of course, you needn’t say anything; but be polite,” warned the little boy duck’s mother, for sometimes he forgot, though he didn’t mean to.

Well, he was walking along through the woods, and over the green fields where the dandelions were just coming up, looking like buttons on a policeman’s coat, if the policeman’s coat was green instead of blue, and I think green would be a nice color.  But no matter about that.

Jimmie was walking along, when, all of a sudden, he heard a little growl.  At first he thought it was the bad fox after him again, but in a moment he saw a little black ball of fur rolling along, and then he saw a little white spot, and he thought that might be Sammie Littletail, only he knew the rabbit boy never growled.  Then, all at once, if that ball of fur didn’t unroll, and there stood a puppy dog!

“Hello!” called Jimmie Wibblewobble, real friendly-like.

“Hello!” answered the puppy dog.

“Are you Peetie or Jackie Bow Wow?” asked the little boy duck, for he knew the puppy dog must be one or the other.

“I’m Jackie,” was the answer.  “Can’t you tell?  I’m all black with a white spot on my nose, and my brother, Peetie, is all white with a black spot on his nose.  See?  I’m black with a black spot — no, I mean I’m black with a white spot, and Jackie he’s black — no, hold on — he’s white — no, I’m Jackie, and he’s Peetie — he’s white with a white — no, a black spot — ”

“Oh, for mercy sakes, stop!” cried Jimmie.  “I’m all tangled up with white spots and black spots!”

“So am I,” admitted Jackie.  “It’s hard to tell who I am, sometimes.”

“Is it, really?” asked Jimmie.

“Yes, it is.  In fact I’m mixed up now.  Would you kindly look and tell me if I have a white or a black spot on my nose.  I could look myself, only it makes me cross-eyed, and I don’t like that.”

So Jimmie looked, very carefully, and he saw a white spot on the puppy dog’s nose, and told him so.

“It’s all right.  I’m Jackie then,” answered the little fellow.  “I thought I was, but it’s best to make sure.”

“Can you play ball?” asked Jimmie.  “My sister told me about you.  It was very kind of you to bring her home.  You haven’t lived here very long, have you?”

“Not very.  But I’m glad I could help your sister.  She is a nice girl.”

“Where’s your brother, Peetie?” asked Jimmie.

“Oh, he’s gone to the store for mamma.”

“Then let’s you and I have a catch until he comes back.  You can play ball, can’t you?”

“Of course.”

So Jimmie tossed the ball to Jackie, and the puppy dog stood up on his hind legs and caught it in his front paws, and then he fell right over, ker-thump, and rolled along the ground.

“Here!” cried the boy duck.  “That’s no way to play ball!  You must stand up and catch.”

“Oh, I know that,” declared Jackie.  “You see I was only practising at biting the ball with my teeth.  I always bite things to sharpen my teeth so I can gnaw big bones when I get to be a big dog.”

“Well, you needn’t sharpen your teeth on my new ball!” cried Jimmie, and he felt a little angry; not much, you know, but a little and he took the ball and was going home, for he didn’t like Jackie, he thought.

It was too bad the little creatures had had a falling-out so soon, but please wait just a moment and see what happens.  No sooner had Jimmie started to go home — Jackie didn’t know why, you see, for he didn’t know it was wrong to bite the ball — no sooner, I say, did Jimmie start home, than out from the bushes jumped a great big water rat, with ugly, cruel, sharp teeth and wicked eyes.

Oh, how frightened Jimmie was, for he knew big water rats ate ducks.  But what do you suppose Jackie, that puppy dog, did?  Why he just growled away down in his throat, and he stuck up one ear as far as it would go, and he let the other ear fall down as far as it would fall, and he opened his mouth, and he showed his teeth, that he had sharpened on Jimmie’s ball, and he jumped right at that bad rat!  Yes, sir, right at him, growling all the while!

At first the rat was going to fight, but when it saw how brave Jackie was, it turned and ran away.  And then that puppy dog just put his little tail between his legs, and howled, and ran away, too; Jimmie waddling after him.  You see Jackie was frightened after it was all over, but he had frightened the rat worse yet.

“How brave you were!” cried Jimmie, when they were at Mrs. Bow Wow’s house.  “You were very brave, indeed.”

“Do you really think so?” asked Jackie.  “Then I must be.”

“You can bite my ball all you want to,” went on Jimmie, and then Peetie came home from the store, and they all had a fine time playing catch.  Now to-morrow night I’m going to tell you about Grandfather Goosey-Gander’s tall hat, if I don’t lose a penny off the front stoop.