Why Max stopped barking


Max is the dog of Andy. Andy is eight years old. Together with his parents and sister Lilly they recently moved . His new school is just a stone’s throw away from his house.

What does that mean: a stone’s throw? Well, if you pick up a stone you cannot throw it away that far. That is why one has made an ‘expression’ of it meaning that something is quite near.

In all languages of the world there are numerous expressions. Some of them sound very funny.

Because Andy’s house is that close, he can walk to his school. It is right around the corner. That is why Max can accompany him up to the school gate. As soon as Andy has entered the school grounds, Max runs back home.

As long as Andy is at school, Max mostly plays in the garden. There are at least ten balls laying around, big and small ones of all different colours. When Andy and Lilly are at home they punch them away and Max runs after the balls. The small balls are very hard and Max likes to firmly bite them. The big balls are softer and Max carefully grabs them between his teeth. If he bites them the air escapes and they will become flat.

Sometimes one says ‘flat as a pancake’. That is another expression. If you ever saw a pancake you know that it is really flat

Today, Max has a plan. Andy’s dad has left for his work. Lilly will start at the primary school and together with her mum they will register her for next year.

As usual, Max walks along with them up to the school building where he waits obediently at the gate.
As soon as Lilly and her mum have entered the building, Max carries out his plan.

He jumps over the fence and gently walks close to the wall in order that nobody can see him through the windows.
Dogs can smell so fantastically well that they are able to quickly find something or someone.

The weather is nice and warm and the windows of the classrooms are open. Max has rapidly found Andy’s class room and he stretches out under the window.

He hears the teachers heavy voice asking: “Who knows the expression: ‘Barking dogs seldom bite’?”
Max recognizes Andy’s voice answering: “I have a dog and I think the expression means that you should not be afraid of a dog that barks a lot.”

Suddenly, someone closes the window and Max rushes along the school wall. He does not want to be seen. Lightly he jumps over the hedge and lays down at the gate.

Just in time, because Lilly and her mum are leaving the building.

When they get home, Max stretches under a tree and sadly looks at all the balls on the lawn. He thinks deeply and decides: from now on I will completely stop barking, otherwise I cannot bite the balls any more.


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