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NOODLE.

Once there was a little dog. His name was Noodle. He was very long from front to back and very short from top to bottom.

Just a short way from Noodle's home there was a big garden. Noodle liked to dig in that garden. Every day he could dig up something that was good to play with or that was good to eat. Digging in the garden was hard work for Noodle because he was very long from front to back and so short from top to bottom.

One day Noodle began to dig deep down into the garden. He wanted to find a bone there. Soon all you could see was the tip of his tail. You couldn't even see his short back legs.

But Noodle knew a bone was not far away. Soon you could not see even the tip of his tail.

Noodle began to dig faster. "I wish I were not so long from front to back and so short from top to bottom," he said.

Just then Noodle heard the sound of wings. He thought that it was a bird, but he did not look to see. He was digging.

Soon Noodle had the bone in his mouth. Then he came out of the hole. He put the bone down and looked around the garden.

There was no bird anywhere, but there was a little white dog with wings just like a bird's.

The little white dog with wings was not so long as Noodle from front to back and she was not so short from top to bottom. But she had a very short tail.

"Good morning," said the little white dog.

"Good morning," said Noodle. Then he asked, "Who are you?"

"I'm the dog fairy," she said.

Noodle was a kind dog, so he said to the little white dog with wings and a very short tail, "Do you want the bone?"

"No, thank you," said the dog fairy. "It isn't very clean. I just came to the garden to give you your wish."

"What wish?" asked Noodle.

"The wish that you made when you were digging out that wishbone," said the fairy.

"Why, so it is a wishbone!" said Noodle. "Did I wish anything when I was digging down in that hole? What was it?"

"You wished to be not so long from front to back and not so short from top to bottom. So I came to the garden to give you your wish. What size and shape do you want to be?" asked the dog fairy.

I'm not sure. May I have time to think about it?"

"Yes," said the fairy. "I'll come back to the garden in the evening. Then you must tell me what size and shape you want to be."

Off went the dog fairy on her white wings.

Noodle wanted to eat the bone. But he couldn't see it! There was no bone!

"Oh, the dog fairy took the wishbone with her!" said Noodle in surprise. He wanted that bone! Then Noodle sat down. He could always think better that way.

"Now I must think what size and shape I want to be. I don't want to be very long from front to back and very short from top to bottom. But what size and shape will be good for me?" he asked himself.

"I know what I'll do!" he said. "I'll ask the animals at the Zoo. They will know what size and shape will be good for me."

So off he went. Pitter, pitter, patter, patter, pitter, patter. His legs were so short he could not go very fast.

He could go very slowly as his legs were very short. This is how he went pitter, pitter, patter, patter, pitter, patter... 


It was a fine day. All the Zoo animals were out of doors. The zebra was the first one that Noodle saw. He went up to the zebra pitter, pitter, patter, patter, pitter, patter.

"Good morning, Mr Zebra," Noodle said.

"Good morning, Noodle," said Mr Zebra. "What brings you here this fine day?"

"I have a question," said Noodle.

"Ask it," said Mr Zebra. "Ask any question you want to. I like questions."

"What's the best size and shape for an animal?" asked Noodle.

"That's an easy question," said Mr Zebra. "My size and shape is the best."

"Why?" asked Noodle.

"I don't know it just is the best!" said the Zebra.

"Is it good for digging up bones in the garden?" asked Noodle.

"I don't know," said Mr Zebra. "I don't dig up bones. But my size and shape is the best."

"What do you do?" asked Noodle.

"I don't have time to do anything. I must stand around all the time, so that people could come and look at me. So I think my size and shape is the best," said Mr Zebra.

"That's too bad," said Noodle. "I want to dig up bones in the garden. Your size and shape will not be good for me. But thank you for telling me. Now I must run along. Goodbye, Mr Zebra."

"Goodbye, Noodle," answered Mr Zebra.

Away went Noodle on his short legs pitter, pitter, patter, patter, pitter, patter...

"I'll ask somebody else to answer my question," he said to himself.

As he went on he saw Miss Ostrich. That is, he saw all of her, but he couldn't see her head. That was in a hole in the sand.

"Good morning, Miss Ostrich," said Noodle.

Out came Miss Ostrich's head in a hurry! She looked very much surprised.

"Good morning, Noodle," she said.

"How did you know I was here?"

"I saw you," answered Noodle.

"You saw me!" cried Miss Ostrich. "That's funny! I couldn't see you! I don't understand it at all!"

Noodle didn't wait to ask his question. He was sure Miss Ostrich didn't know anything about the best size and shape for digging up bones in the garden. He just said, "Goodbye!" and went off on his very short legs pitter, pitter, patter, patter, pitter, patter...

"What a silly dog!" said Miss Ostrich as she put her head into the hole in the sand again.


Noodle knew that it was time for dinner. He was hungry. But he wanted to find somebody to answer his question before dinner. So he went on faster and faster and saw Mr Giraffe.

Mr Giraffe was eating a fine dinner from the top of a tree. He could do that because he had a very long neck.

"Good morning, Mr Giraffe," said Noodle.

"Good morning," answered Mr Giraffe. "What brings you here at dinner time?"

"I have a question to ask. Will you please stop eating?" said Noodle.

"All right," answered Mr Giraffe, and down came his long neck and head. "But hurry up with your question. I'm too hungry to wait long."

"My question is short," said Noodle. "What is the best size and shape for an animal?"

"My size and shape is the best," answered Mr Giraffe. "This neck is just fine for getting dinners from tops of trees."

"Is your neck fine for digging up bones for dinner?" Noodle asked.

Mr Giraffe laughed and laughed.

"What a silly question!" he cried. "Who wants to dig up bones for dinner?"

"I do!" answered Noodle. "I want to dig in the garden for bones for my dinner."

"That's just silly!" said Mr Giraffe.

"No, it isn't," said Noodle. "I'm going home for dinner right now. I get hungry just thinking about bones. Thank you for answering my question. Goodbye!" said Noodle and went off on his very short legs pitter, pitter, patter, patter, pitter, patter.

"Isn't it too bad!" thought Noodle as he was going home. "A giraffe can't dig up bones! What a neck! I know I don't want a size and shape like his."


Pitter, pitter, patter, patter, pitter, patter went Noodle's feet as he was going home on his short legs. He was hungry and getting hungrier at every pitter patter.

How silly all the Zoo animals were, he thought. But how could they know the best size and shape for digging up bones? They didn't like to dig up bones.

But Noodle did. He liked to dig up bones very much.

He didn't want to stand around all the time as Mr Zebra did, so that people could come and look at him. He didn't want a neck like a giraffe's. He wasn't silly to put his head down into the sand as Miss Ostrich did. He didn't want to be the size, and shape that those animals were.

But Noodle was too hungry to think of the right size and shape any longer. He got his dinner. Then he found a good place in the garden and went asleep.

Noodle was still asleep when night came. The first thing he heard was the sound of wings. The dog fairy was in the garden again.

"I have come back to give you your wish," she said.

It was dark in the garden and Noodle was almost asleep.

"Well, I'm waiting," said the dog fairy. "What size and shape do you want to be?"

"I'm thinking," answered Noodle. Then he said, "I want to be the size and shape that I am now," he said wagging his tail. "Does that surprise you, Miss Miss Fairy?"

"Not at all," said the Fairy. "Dogs and people are too much alike. They are always wishing for things that they really don't want. All fairies know that."

Off she went on her white wings.

"I'll not make any more silly wishes," thought Noodle and went back to sleep.

 

THE END.


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