“ARRROOOUF! “ Ace, a proud black dog, sat on his favorite corner of Main Street and Robin Road. His thick-as-a-rope tail THUMP-THUMPED on the sidewalk. Cars, trucks and bicycles crossed in front of him in a blur of rolling wheels.
Close by, an unseen sticky glob of gum waited for something to happen.
Ace’s tail pounded cheerfully as stores opened. It was fun watching men and women and boys and girls going up and down the sidewalk. Sometimes they came over and scratched his head. THUMP, THUMP went his tail.
That tail smacked up and down, up and down, and oh…oh, right on top of that sticky, gooey glob of bubble gum.
Ace stopped. Something was wrong. There was no more up and down; no more THUMP-THUMP. Yes, something was really wrong. There was no sound from his smacking tail. He tried to lift it, but it was stuck.
Ace stood up and gave a mighty pull. He pulled with his strong, sturdy legs. Finally, he began to move, S-L-O-W-L-Y.
A string of pink rubber pulled his thick-as-a-rope tail backwards.
Ace was not happy, and he smacked his tail down hard. This was no joking matter for a proud pooch.
He had places to go, things to do. There were trees to sniff and four legged friends to visit. He was a busy dog, and this was not funny!
Ace leaned forward using every ounce of his strong doggy power. Slowly, his tail began to stretch and S-T-R-E-T-C-H.
A crowd began gathering around him and pointing at the funny sight.
“Come see a dog and a gooey-gum show!” they shouted.
It was not funny to Ace. He had to put an end to this foolishness.
He had to prove who was boss of the corner of Main Street and Robin Road.
However, the glob of gum had other ideas. It had been left behind before, but not this time. It wasn’t letting go of this new friend.
Ace tugged and pulled, and his tail stretched and S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-D. By now it was at least one storefront long. It was a battle between gum and dog.
The crowd shouted and clapped and laughed, as Ace’s tail grew longer and LONGER.
Sparrows flew under his tail, and children jumped over it, in a game of Follow-the -Leader.
Hot air steamed from Ace's nose and ears. He squeezed his eyes tight. The harder he pulled, the more tightly the glob of gum held. Every time he pulled with his FULL power, fur flew in all directions.
People ducked from showers of loose dog hair. Some used umbrellas as they watched this amazing Tug-of-War.
A man from the Daily News snapped a few pictures and wrote lots of words on a pad of paper.
Someone set up a popcorn stand. “Get your snacks at the “Gummy Dog Show!” they shouted. “25 cents a bag!”
Two girls sold lemonade in front of Morgan’s store. Thirsty customers stood in a long line for a glass of the cold drink on that hot, hot day.
Sandy’s Toy Store had a kite and hula-hoop sidewalk-sale. The street looked like a holiday parade.
Ace was running out of fur, and his tongue scraped on the sidewalk.
“POP !” The contest came to an end like an exploding firecracker. People heard the sound way over on Pickle Street, like a cork out of a bottle.
Yes, it was true. The glob of gum finally let go. Was it because the gooey-glob was no longer sticky? Perhaps it was tired. After all, Ace was a very large dog with four powerful legs.
Ace flew across the sidewalk, tail over toes. He was a rolling ball of flying fur, followed by his LONG stretched-out tail.
Around and around he rolled, all the way to the end of the block, where he finally crashed into a trash can with a sign that read: KEEP OUR STREETS CLEAN.
Ace shook his head. The sky and the sidewalk spun around and around.
When the street stood still, Ace stood up. THUMP-THUMP-THUMPITY-THUMP-THUMP went his long, long tail. He liked it!
He proudly looked up at corner sign… Main Street and Bacon Road.
He sniffed the air with a happy sigh, his tug of war finally over. He gave his tail a wiggly THUMP- THUMP- THUMPITY- THUMP- THUMP on the sidewalk.
Ace and his long, long, long tail was now boss of one whole block of Main Street from one corner to the other.
© Richard & Esther Provencher 2016