The Meadow is usually a very peaceful place.  We try to get along with each other but sometimes, just sometimes, we upset each other.

This morning little Freddie, the Chihauhau with the very long legs, lost his beautiful smile. He was so unhappy.

One moment Freddie was having a game of Tumble-Pup with Maximo, the next moment he was running off up to the house squealing and crying like a baby.   He sat all alone on the verandah bench feeling sorry for himself.  Then, when he had the chance, he sneaked into the house and hid on the sofa.  We all knew for certain that little Freddie was VERY upset about something.

Eventually Snoopy and Kipper, the oldest Meadow dogs, persuaded him to come and have a chat with them underneath the plane tree.  “What’s wrong, young Freddie?” they asked. “Where has your lovely smile gone?”

At first Freddie didn’t want to tell them what was really wrong. He told them that he had lost his smile in the water trough and he pretended to go looking for it.  Kipper and Snoopy are wise old dogs and realized that little Freddie was just finding it hard to tell them what was really wrong. Snoopy tried to cheer him up by pulling silly faces and showing him some of his best smiling faces!

Freddie realized that Kipper and Snoopy really wanted to help so he told them the truth. He told them he was upset with Maximo. “I love playing games with Maximo, but sometimes the games are too rough! He hurts me and frightens me! I tell him to stop but he thinks I am just joking. He is big and strong and doesn’t realize I am not a very tough puppy! I don’t know what to do.”

Kipper said to Freddie, “I’m pretty sure all this can be sorted out.”

Kipper took Maximo aside and sat him down on his bean-bag. He explained to him why young Freddie was upset. Maximo said, “I didn’t mean to hurt him! I thought we were just having fun!”

Kipper reminded Maximo that when he was a young pup, he was also afraid of being hurt by the big dogs. “Don’t you remember what it was like, Maximo? You weren’t so very tough! And we had to learn to be gentle with you!”

And so, Maximo remembered what it was like to be a puppy and he understood why little Freddie had been upset. He said sorry to little Freddie and licked him gently on the head. “From now I will look after you! I promise that all our games will be VERY gentle!” Freddie was very happy about this and gave him a great big smile!

I am very happy that that Freddie found his smile again!

Have you ever lost your smile?

Ryan O’Brien.