“What Sugar wanted most in the world was someone to show her attention. She thought and thought about how she could get an owner.”
One day there lived a puppy who was three weeks old. Her name was Sugar and she lived on a corner block in the city. She was a black dog with straight, shiny fur. Her tail was long and her ears flopped down. There were six dogs in Sugar’s family. There was her mother and father who also had black, shiny fur, her sister, Chewy, and two brothers. She was the baby of the family and the smallest, and she felt very nervous when her brothers chased her. Sugar always wanted to play with Chewy, but Chewy liked to play at the dog park with her friends, and never invited Sugar to come along. This made Sugar sad. Her mom and dad were always so busy with her brothers and sister that they couldn’t spend much time with Sugar.
What Sugar wanted most in the world was someone to show her attention. She thought and thought about how she could get an owner. It took her a week to come up with a plan, but she needed more information. So one day when Chewy went to the dog park, Sugar snuck out behind her and followed her.
The dog park was a large area of dusty dirt. There were a lot of trees scattered around the park, but strangely, there were more people than dogs. It was a cool day. Sugar didn’t think it was actually a dog park, but Chewy had told her it was. Sugar tried to hide from Chewy by hiding in a bush. She listened to the kids walking by and talking to try and find out where she could get a crystal. She overheard a kid say that there was a very big crystal at the end of the woods. At this, Sugar wagged her tail, and stayed around to see if she could find out more. When she heard nothing else, she went home to prepare to find the crystal.
Sugar packed in a big backpack a pillow, her favorite dog toy (a chewy squirrel that squeaked!), some food (nobody paid attention to her, so this was quite easy), and her food and water bowls. She planned to leave the next morning after Chewy went out to the dog park again. Unfortunately around her there were a lot of woods, so she wasn’t sure which one she had to go in. Despite this, she felt happy because she really wanted someone else to take care of her besides her parents. She was ready for the challenge. The backpack was big enough for her to curl up inside, so she slept on the pillow, excited for the morning.
But Chewy didn’t go to the dog park the next day.
Sugar asked Chewy, “Are you going to go to the dog park later tonight, or are you never going again?”
Chewy said she never planned to go to the dog park again.
Sugar felt sad, but didn’t say anything to Chewy. She just walked away, and came up with plan B: to jump out of the window that night.
Sugar went into the living room while the other dogs received their treats. Out the window there was a rose bush. She knew the rose bush had thorns so she went into the kitchen and opened a window. Outside that window there was nothing but grass. She jumped outside, but she forgot to put her backpack on! She remembered there was a doggy door, so she went back inside. She ran to get her backpack and slipped it on her back. Sugar returned to the kitchen. Chewy was waiting by the entrance of the kitchen.
“What are you doing?” she asked Sugar.
“Going to the dog park,” Sugar said. She felt nervous because she realized that Chewy didn’t know she’d been to the dog park. She thought she might get caught.
“Do you want me to come?” Chewy asked.
“Tomorrow,” Sugar said. With that, she jumped out the already open window.
She worried that when she returned she wouldn’t get any treats because her parents would be so mad at her. She didn’t want her parents to find out she was gone. The night was cold, and she realized she hadn’t packed a blanket. She thought about the blanket that her parents kept outside, but she didn’t know where it was stored. She sniffed around the backyard and found the blanket underneath her favorite tree. She felt sad to leave that tree because she always lay under it no matter the weather. But she had to find that crystal, so she went to the gate. It was locked, and she couldn’t jump over it, so she had to get the key that was placed in a box by the door. There were twenty-three keys on the key-ring, and Sugar tried every single one, until finally the twenty-third key worked! She opened the gate and went on her way.
There were three different ways to get into the woods, but she didn’t know which way to take. There was a piece of paper that told her which path to take, but the paper got ripped, so she didn’t know which path to take. She remembered that she’d been given a sign, so she took it out and read it, and that told her which way to go. She took the middle path.
There was a big, big bridge. The bridge was very low, and mice walked underneath it. Sugar looked around for a rope so that she could climb the bridge and get on top of it, but she couldn’t find one. Sugar barked and howled for someone to help. There was a car on top of the bridge. A person in the car was talking to another. “Are we going to be here for a long time?” said one person.
“Yes,” said the other.
Sugar tried to get their attention but couldn’t, so Sugar decided to wait. The people on the bridge left their car there, and didn’t come back until the next day. Sugar opened her backpack, got out her pillow, and went to sleep for the night.
Sugar woke to the sound of the two people’s voices, and this time got the attention of one of them. The person said, “I think that dog needs help!” But the other person ignored her needs to get up onto the bridge. The two people got back into their car and drove away.
This made Sugar feel frustrated and upset. She thought and thought about how this could’ve happened and then she remembered that the day she got the sign that told her to take the middle path was the day that the signs had changed, and she wasn’t given the right one. But this still didn’t solve her problem. She decided that she had to take the left path instead. It took her a long time to get back to the start of the path, and she was exhausted when she got there, but she knew she had to keep going.
Along the left path she encountered a gigantic bear with three bear cubs. She felt very nervous that the bear was going to eat her alive, but it turned out that all the bear wanted was water to give to her cubs. Sugar took a bottle of water out of her backpack and offered it to the mother bear, who was very grateful to Sugar for helping her babies.
Sugar said goodbye to the bear, and continued on her way down the path. As she walked, Sugar thought about what else she might encounter. Would she run into another bear? Or an owl? Or maybe a less friendly animal, like a fox? For a while, there were no other animals. She was alone and the path began getting darker, and she saw dying trees. She was nervous now. But she continued walking, because she wanted that crystal. And suddenly, she heard a loud thump right behind her. When she turned around, she quickly realized it was a giant tree that had fallen and had barely missed her by three inches. At that moment, she wished she had asked someone to come with her. But she kept moving. Then she got thirsty, so she checked her backpack for a bottle of water. She didn’t have any water, but noticed a cabin nearby. She headed to the cabin and reached the door. Thankfully, the doorbell wasn’t too high up, because she was able to hop and ring it with her nose.
And owl with sharp, sharp claws opened the door and said, “Hello?” But Sugar had run away and hid behind a tree. She was scared of owls, because she knew they were birds of prey. “Hello… anyone out here?” the owl said in a friendly voice.
Sugar began to shiver. Finally, she peeked her head a little, and the owl spotted her.
“Hey there, I see you. It’s okay, I’m not gonna hurt you,” the owl said.
Sugar didn’t respond; she kept shivering.
The owl walked outside. She had a wide wingspan, but her claws were hidden now. She had white feathers and black stripes.
Sugar stepped out and showed herself.
“Want me to bring you inside?” said the owl. “You look scared.”
“I’m a little thirsty.”
“I can get you some water. I’ll be right back.”
When the owl came back with a glass of water, she said to Sugar, “Do you want to come inside and spend the night?”
“No, thank you. I’m just going to drink my water and then I have to continue on my journey.”
“Can I join you on your journey?”
“Great! I’m Owlette by the way. What’s your name?”
“Let me just pack a few things and I’ll be all ready to go.”
“Okay. Don’t take too long.”
So Sugar and Owlette set off to find the big crystal. While Sugar was glad to have the company she was also worried. She didn’t know if she could trust Owlette, because she’d never met an owl before.
It started to get dark so they stopped to have dinner. Fortunately, they found an abandoned tent so they went in it and ate. The next morning, after they woke up, Owlette folded up the tent and realized that she could fit it inside her backpack. Sugar felt happy that they would always have a dry and cozy place to sleep. And after that Sugar started to trust Owlette a little more.
As they headed down the path Sugar started thinking about her parents back home.
“I’m worried that my parents are going to be mad at me for leaving home. I don’t want to get in trouble.”
“Oh well,” Owlette said, thinking that she didn’t want Sugar to be worried, so she was going to change the subject to get Sugar’s parents off her mind. “Are we almost there?” Owlette asked. “I’m getting tired’’
“Yes,” replied Sugar.
“How much further?” Owlette asked.
“Just past that pond over there. Can you see it?”
Owlette squinted and looked into the distance. “Yes, Sugar, I can see it. But just barely.”
“It looks further than it is. We will be there soon.”
Sugar and Owlette set off to the pond. It didn’t take them long to get there; however, they soon realized that they had no way to cross it. Neither of them knew how to swim and it was too deep to walk across.
“Oh, no problem. I can fly across the pond.”
“But I can’t fly,” Sugar said sadly.
“I have an idea. Why don’t I carry you on my back while I fly across?”
“Okay! Let’s try it.”
Owlette ducked down and Sugar jumped on her back, but once Owlette started to take off Sugar got scared.
“I’ve never flown before,” she explained, “I think I’m too scared to do this.”
“I understand. I have an idea. I see that there are big lily pads leading across the pond. Why don’t you hop on each one while I fly across?”
“Okay. I’ll try.”
When Sugar got to the other side of the pond, she said to Owlette, “I’m so glad I made it. I nearly drowned hopping on one of the smaller lilly pads, but I was able to get across.”
“How much further now?” Owlette asked.
“It is behind that tree in the ground.”
Then Owlette said, “But what are we going to use to get in the ground?”
“I can dig really well,” Sugar responded.
Then Owlette said, “But I can’t dig. I don’t have paws like you.”
Sugar looked then in her backpack to see if there were any tools in there that Owlette could use. But there were no tools that Sugar could find for Owlette to use.
Sugar said, “It’s okay. I can dig and you can watch me.” Owlette sat and watched Sugar dig, but it was taking a while. Owlette told Sugar she was going to go back to where she lived because there wasn’t anything for her to do there. Just then, Sugar saw something in a bush and said, “Before you go I want to see if there is something in the bush that you could use.”
When she looked in the bush she found a shovel that was easier to hold. Owlette decided to stay and use that tool. They dug and dug and dug, until finally, they reached the crystal! When they reached the crystal, they figured out it was not that big. It was only the size of Owlette. They were expecting it to be as big as an ostrich. They were happy that they found the crystal, and that there was enough room in the backpack for it to fit. But Owlette and Sugar were sad because they wanted it to be bigger.
“What are we going to use to split up the crystal?” Owlette asked.
“We never planned that we would split it up,” said Sugar.
“I came on this journey because I thought I would get some of the crystal.”
“But you never told me that you would.”
Just then Sugar saw more of the crystal.
“You can get all of the crystal that we found, and I can get all of the one in the ground.” Sugar said.
Owlette agreed. When they got the crystal out of the ground it was much bigger — it was the size of an ostrich!
Owlette said, “Why do you get the bigger crystal and I get the smaller crystal?”
“Because I was the one that was going to get all of the crystal, but I let you have some.” Owlette seemed disappointed, but eventually said it was okay.
They walked back to Owlette’s house and said goodbye. Sugar asked for more water and food for the way. And then, Sugar was alone. When she got back she told her family about her journey. They used the crystal for what they wanted and lived happily ever after.