“Thank you for agreeing to do this, Sadie Lynn,” said Miss Blatz to her terrier friend, who was standing on the porch of Miss Blatz' country home. She had come to pick Sam up for an outing. Unlike the placid and refined Miss Blatz, Sam was a bundle of energy that belied her tiny (even by rat standards) size, and she couldn’t be stopped from running around, exploring everything, and, more often than not, getting herself into trouble. Miss Blatz could seldom keep up with her young ward, and so she had asked the more active Sadie Lynn if she wouldn’t mind finding something to do with Sam that the little rat would find more fun than the typical activities Miss Blatz preferred. Sadie Lynn had suggested hiking with her housemate Louey, and according to Miss Blatz, Sam was thrilled by the idea. “Oh, it’s my plea—“ Sadie Lynn began to respond, but was cut off by Sam, who shot out the door and into Sadie Lynn like a black-and-white furry bullet, clutching Sadie Lynn’s long black coat in her tiny pink paws and babbling with glee and gratitude. Clearly Miss Blatz had not exaggerated her enthusiasm in the slightest.
“Let’s go!” said Sam as soon as she had released Sadie Lynn. “Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!”
After Miss Blatz gave Sadie Lynn a basket with their lunches packed in it, and few extra reminders to Sam to behave, they said goodbye to Miss Blatz and were on their way. Sam chattered animatedly all the way. She had been waiting all week for this; a chance to go exploring AND meet a new friend!
“When do we meet Louey?” she asked, bouncing along. “I thought he’d be coming with you to pick me up!”
“He said he’d be waiting for us at the mouth of the trail,” said Sadie Lynn, who was a patient pooch. That patience turned out to be much-needed when watching Sam; on the bus ride through the city, the little rat was incapable of sitting still in her seat, and constantly chattered to the other passengers, telling them about what she was doing today and asking them questions about themselves. Sadie Lynn had to tell her more than once that she was being rude.
Finally, the bus came to the very last stop on its route, dropping the pair off on the outskirts of town. From there they walked on a dirt road towards the edge of the woods where, waiting by the start of the hiking trail just as promised, was Louey. He was a tri-colored Chihuahua, mostly a soft chocolate color with a white underside and a pale tan around his eyes, ears, and legs. He was also wearing a cowboy hat perched atop his head, absurdly too big for him. Sadie Lynn made swift introductions between him and Sam, and then they set off down the hiking trail.
(End of Part 1)
Story and illustration by Mary Grace Mauney