Joe held his
dog, Burt. “My dog, Burt, is better than your cat, Fluffy. What a silly
name for a cat. Dogs are better than cats.”
“Fluffy is much better than your dog. Cats are lovable and play with
string and wool. They chase mice and eat catnip and fish. Cats are
better than dogs.”
and tried to get out of Joe's grasp.
doesn't even want you to hold him.” Emily giggled and stuck her tongue
out at her brother.
Burt dropped to
the floor and ran outside. Joe and Emily watched him out the window.
“Look how silly
he looks. All he does is chase butterflies and bark and wag his tail. He
can't even purr.” Emily took Fluffy and went to her room.
Joe watched Burt
a while longer and then went outside. “Come here, Burt. Come to Joe.” At
first the dog ignored Joe, but when he called him again, the dog came
running. He jumped on Joe's legs and tried to lick his face. Joe sat on
the grass and the dog licked him all over with his rough, tickly tongue.
“What can dogs
do?” Joe thought about it for a while. He picked up a stick and threw it
across the yard. Burt ran after it and brought it back to him. “Wow! You
can fetch.” He threw it again and once more the dog ran after it and
carried it proudly in his mouth, dropping it at Joe's feet.
Joe stood and
shouted. “Emily, dogs are smarter than cats. They can fetch. Cats don't
fetch. Cats aren't as good as dogs.”
Emily went to
her bedroom window and opened it. “Dogs are dumb! So what if Burt can
fetch a stick. Can he catch a mouse?”
Joe looked at
Burt. “Can you catch a mouse, boy?” He knew the dog didn't do that sort
of thing. He stuck his tongue out at his sister and was glad when she
shut the window.
Later that day
Joe carried Burt in the house and sat next to his mother. “Mom, are cats
better or are dogs?”
“Joe, Burt is
your dog. Of course you're going to love him more. I know you love
Fluffy too though, don't you?”
Emily that, Mom.” Joe smiled.
“All animals are
amazing creatures. Each one does something different than the other. It
doesn't mean they are better, just different. Take Burt and go up to see
Emily. Tell her you like her cat.” Mom went into the kitchen to fix
herself a drink of lemonade.
Joe went up the
stairs and knocked on Emily's door. She opened it and stood silent,
waiting for him to speak. “Emily, I like Burt more because he's my dog,
but I like Fluffy too. Cats are okay. Can I play with Fluffy for a while
and you can play with Burt?”
“Okay.” She took Burt from Joe's arms and took him to her bed.
Joe played with
When he went to
bed, he hugged his mom. “You were right. I do like Fluffy too. I guess
cats and dogs are both fun pets.”
Mom kissed Joe
on the forehead, petted Burt and turned off the light. “Good night,