Houghton Mifflin English

Story

The Dog That Couldn't Bark

By Samantha B.

The sun was rising over the wheat field on a small farm in Ohio. A dog named Oreo awoke with all the other animals to the cock-a-doodle-doo of the rooster. He walked from the barn to the house. As he walked, he smelled freshly lain hay and freshly milked milk. When he got to the door, he scratched at it. He tried to bark, but what came out was a very loud QUACK.

Oreo was no ordinary dog. From the day he was born, he quacked. He had quacked for as long as he could remember. Mr. Copperfield finally opened the door and let him in. Oreo went over to his food bowl and ate his breakfast. While he was eating, he heard Mr. Copperfield telling Mrs. Copperfield, “That dog! I think we should sell him to a museum because he's got no use here on a farm if he can't bark.”

Oreo was so devastated that he slumped outside and decided to go for a long walk in the wheat field. He was walking along enjoying the sun when he heard a sound. He walked closer and closer to the sound. Finally he got close enough to recognize it. Whoever it was, it was crying. He turned a bend in the road and saw a mother duck. Oreo went up to her and quacked, “Why are you crying?”

The mother said in a very weak voice, “I've had a sore throat, so I can't quack very well. I let my children play, and they wandered off somewhere. Now I can't call them back. Can you help me?”

“Sure! Which way did they go?” asked Oreo.

“They went that-a-way,” said the mother, and she pointed her wing north. Before she could say any more, Oreo was off, racing through rows and rows of wheat. Up ahead he saw a clearing just in front of the woods.

When he reached the clearing, the first thing he saw was four baby ducklings. As he got nearer, he saw something else! He saw a fox about ten feet behind the baby ducklings! Quickly he slipped into the clearing and quacked, “Get on my back and hurry!”

The baby ducks looked up and quacked, “Who are you?”

“My name is Oreo. Your mother sent me. She has a sore throat.”

“Okay, we'll come with you,” said the ducks.

“Get on quickly! There's a fox!”

With that, the ducks got on his back. Before you could say ducklings, they were on and he was racing back across the field. When he got to the spot where he thought the mother duck was, she was still there, and she was very happy to see her ducklings.

Oreo told her about the fox. She was very unhappy with her children for wandering off. Then she turned to Oreo and said, “You saved my ducklings. How would you like to live with us, seeing that you're a dog and you quack?”

Oreo smiled and said, “Yes!”

He lived with the duck family for the rest of his life and he was very, very happy.

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