'Harry the Dirty Dog' lTC


August 23, 1998|By Eugene Zion

Editor's note: A dirty dog learns his lesson and finally comes clean.

Harry was a white dog with black spots who liked everything, except ... getting a bath. So one day when he heard the water running in the tub, he took the scrubbing brush and buried it in the back yard. Then he ran away from home.

He played where they were fixing the street and got very dirty. He played at the railroad and got even dirtier. He played tag with other dogs and became dirtier still. He slid down a coal chute and got the dirtiest of all. In fact, he changed from a white dog with black spots to a black dog with white spots.

Although there were many other things to do, Harry began to wonder if his family thought that he had really run away. He felt tired and hungry too, so without stopping on the way he ran back home.

When Harry got to his house, he crawled through the fence and sat looking at the back door. One of the family looked out and said, "There's a strange dog in the back yard ... by the way, has anyone seen Harry?"

When Harry heard this, he tried very hard to show them he was Harry. He started to do all his old, clever tricks. He flip-flopped and he flop-flipped. He rolled over and played dead. He danced and he sang. He did these tricks over and over again, but everyone shook his head and said, "Oh, no, it couldn't be Harry."

Harry gave up and walked slowly toward the gate, but suddenly he stopped. He ran to a corner of the garden and started to dig furiously. Soon he jumped away from the hole barking short, happy barks.

He'd found the scrubbing brush! And carrying it in his mouth, he ran into the house. Up the stairs he dashed, with the family following close behind.

He jumped into the bathtub and sat up begging, with the scrubbing brush in his mouth, a trick he certainly had never done before.

"This little doggie wants a bath!" cried the little girl, and her father said, "Why don't you and your brother give him one?"

Harry's bath was the soapiest one he'd ever had. It worked like magic. As soon as the children started to scrub, they began shouting, "Mummy! Daddy! Look, look! Come quick!"

"It's Harry! It's Harry! It's Harry!" they cried. Harry wagged his tail and was very, very happy. His family combed and brushed him lovingly, and he became once again a white dog with black spots.

It was wonderful to be home. After dinner, Harry fell asleep in his favorite place, happily dreaming of how much fun it had been getting dirty. He slept so soundly, he didn't even feel the scrubbing brush he'd hidden under his pillow.

TEXT COPYRIGHT 1956 BY EUGENE ZION. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

! Pub date: 8/23/98

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