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THE ADVENTURES OF RUSTY

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Rusty loved playing outside. When he was in the house he would stand up with his paws on the sill of the big picture window in the family room and look out at the big back yard, wishing he were there. Sometimes he would see a squirrel running up the tall oak tree or a rabbit hopping through the green grass. This afternoon when Mom let him outside he was so excited he ran around smelling the grass where other creatures had been and then rolled around and around on his back, getting dirt and grass all over his cream-colored fur. When he heard a bird singing he looked up and watched it fly from its nest in the big pine tree. "I wish I could find that rabbit," he thought, sniffing under the pine trees. "I'll bet we'd have lots of fun playing together!" He sauntered over to the flower garden. He loved those beautiful flowers, especially the red ones! He stuck his nose in one to smell it and a bee flew out. "Whew!" Rusty said to himself, "that was close!" The sun was getting brighter and warmer and Rusty lay down and rolled around again in the soft grass. "This is great, I could stay out here forever," he thought. The sun felt so good that he turned over on his back and thought, "Maybe I can get a little suntan on my tummy." Then he squirmed around getting comfortable and soon fell fast asleep.

The small, cream-colored creature opened his eyes and looked around. Everywhere he looked there was green. Tall green things, medium sized green things and short green things. And there were lots of colorful things growing out of the ground. There was red, orange, pink, yellow and blue. There was color everywhere.

Just then, he heard something that sounded like, "Umm, Hi!" He turned around and there was a creature who looked liked him except he was much bigger. He had four feet and a tail but he was a different color. Actually he had two colors. He was black with orange stripes. "Hi!" said the small, cream-colored creature. "Who are you?" "I'm a big, two-colored creature," said the creature. "I'm not sure how I know that. I just opened my eyes and knew that I was a big, two-colored creature." "I know what you mean," said the small, cream-colored creature. "I opened my eyes and knew that I was a small, cream-colored creature and that I was in this beautiful place that's full of color."

"This is a wonderful place," said the big, two-colored creature, "let's look around and see what else we can find." They walked through a little woods of very tall things, that he later learned were called trees, so tall they had to look way up to see the tops of them. They went a little further and there just ahead of them they saw something familiar. It was another creature that looked something like them. It had four long legs and a tail but it had a VERY long neck. "Hi!" they both called to the long-necked creature. "Hi!" the long-necked creature said shyly. "I didn't know there was anybody else like me in this colorful place." "Well, that makes three of us," said the small, cream-colored creature. One by one they found there were many, many creatures in the colorful place and they all looked VERY different. One of them was an enormous gray one with a VERY long nose. Another one was small and brown with a VERY long tail and liked to hang from trees. As they got to know each other they began to run and play and have LOTS of fun. Sometimes the long-tailed creature rode on the back of the long-nosed creature. And sometimes the long-necked creature reached far up into the trees to get delicious treats for them all to eat.

As they walked along they came to a small stream of water that made little bubbling sounds as it flowed past them. The small, cream-colored creature slowly put one foot out and dipped his toes into the water. "Hey, this feels good!" he said. "Come on guys, let's walk across." The rest of the creatures hesitated a moment, then deciding it was safe, followed the small, cream-colored creature into the water. The long-nosed creature and the long-necked creature hardly knew they were in the water because their legs were longer. Only the bottoms of their feet were wet. All of a sudden the small, cream-colored creature yelled, "Help! I can't feel the bottom anymore!" Before you could say, "small, cream-colored creature," the long-nosed creature scooped up the small, cream-colored creature with his long nose and carried him across. The two-colored creature laughed and said, "You look funny, long-nosed creature, you have the small-cream-colored creature on your nose and the long-tailed creature on your back!" They all laughed 'til their stomachs hurt.

Just as they crossed the stream, the long-necked creature yelled, "Guys, look!" Because of his long neck, he made a good guide. They all looked where the long-necked creature told them and saw a VERY strange sight. There were two more creatures under a tree in the meadow but they looked VERY different. They decided to have a closer look and as they were walking toward the new creatures they saw that the new creatures were coming closer to them. BUT these creatures were not walking on FOUR legs like they were, these new creatures were walking on TWO legs. When they got very close they saw that these new creatures didn't have fur on their bodies like they did, their bodies seemed to be covered with a brilliant light instead fur! The small, cream-colored creature sensed there was nothing to fear, so he wagged his tail and walked closer to the new creatures. "Hi, little guy, we're so glad to see you. I am Man and my name is Adam and this is my wife, Eve, she is Woman. The Lord God created all of us not long ago and put us in this wonderful garden called Eden. He told me you would be here along with many, many other animals. He also told me that you will spend your days playing and eating the delicious green food that is growing for you and at night you will lie down on the soft grass to sleep." The small, cream-colored creature couldn't believe his ears. The Lord God had created him! The Lord God loved him enough to put him in this beautiful place with all these wonderful friends!

"He also told me to give all of you names," said Adam, "and to take care of you, and this beautiful garden. Come, sit down here by me while I think of some good names." The small, cream-colored creature said to the other creatures, "Come on guys, come up close. Did you hear that? He called us animals but he's going to give us special names. How cool is that?" So all the animals gathered excitedly around Adam and Eve to wait for Adam to think of names for each of them. "Let's see. This little cream-colored guy will be called a 'Dog'. Actually, because there will be various kinds of dogs, he will be called a Poodle. Toy Poodle because he's so small. But I think you also need a special name of your own, little guy. I think I'll call you Rusty." "Wow!" thought Rusty, his powder-puff tail going in circles, "my own special name!" "Then, as for you, the creature with the long neck," Adam said, "I think 'Giraffe' would be a good name for you." Giraffe was very pleased and nodded his long neck up and down, up and down. "And, let's see, the long-tailed creature will be, um, 'Monkey'." At that, monkey giggled, turned a somersault and scurried up and down the nearest tree. "I'll call the two-colored creature 'Tiger' and this big fellow here, with the long nose, which will be called a 'trunk', I will name 'Elephant'." Tiger was so happy he pranced around and around and elephant thought he had such a fine name that he swung his long trunk back and forth, accidentally hitting monkey. Monkey didn't mind, he just turned another somersault and jumped up onto elephant's back! Many more creatures started to gather around them and Adam gave each of them a name. Some of them were beautiful flying creatures that Adam called birds and one long, pretty one with short legs and shiny colors was called snake. "This is the most special day I've ever had," thought Rusty, "Well, considering this is the FIRST day I've ever had!"

"Ooh!" groaned Rusty. He had suddenly been awakened by Tiger, the neighbor's cat, but before he was awake enough to chase him, Tiger was gone. "Well, anyway, that was a great dream." Rusty looked around and barked, "Lord God, I really thank you for creating me and for my wonderful, big back yard!"

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Our in-house staff members work with community members and our local writers to find, write and edit the latest and most interesting news worthy stories. This is your community newspaper, we are always looking for local stories that interest you.
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