Black Dog, White Dog, my first-ever middle grade story, is part of a great anthology My Dog Can Do Magic. Me? Who's Anya then? Well, my pen name for my stories for the young and young at heart!
Feddie Harper, almost 12, has survived the death of his beloved black Lab. Volunteering at the nearby horse rescue helps him find a life-saving dog...in more ways than one. Add a touch of Chumash history and legend, and well, his summer turns out pretty good! Will he and Helene have more adventures? I think so!
Mom taught third grade at his school. Luckily, Feddie had never had to enroll in her class. Oh, he knew she was a cool teacher, but what did you call your mom if she was your teacher? Mom? Mrs. Harper?
“Which reminds me...” she started off again.
Feddie’s heart thumped. He read her mind, too
“Your summer book list. Have you started?” She definitely tossed him a classroom glare.
“Mo-om. School’s been out, like, an hour.”
“More than a week now. And you have six books to read for your reading journal.”
“Thing is...you know Mrs. Wegner from school, don’t you?”
“Mom.” He rolled his eyes. “It’s a small school. Know. I know everybody.” Then he ground his teeth. If she thought for one second to get him a tutor he’d..
“Well, she’s a volunteer at the local horse rescue.”
Horse rescue? Feddie perked up at that. Like McKnight’s ears had when he heard something. Horses were almost as cool as dogs. “So?”
“Well, I thought that was something you and I could do to pass the time. There’s an orientation meeting this afternoon.
“All right.” Anything to postpone the reading list.
“Thing is...volunteers under twelve aren’t allowed in the stalls.”
“I’ll be twelve in September!”
“It doesn’t matter. You aren’t twelve yet. Anyway, I want to muck to get some exercise. There’s a reading program where kids read to the horses. You could do that while I clean stalls.”
“What? Read to the horses?” Well, it wasn’t that weird of an idea. He’d done his homework with McKnight his whole life.
“Yes. That way, the horses get acquainted with the next generation of volunteers. And with you having a list of books to read, it just seems fortuitous.”
Another big word. She did it all the time. He grumped out loud. “English, Mom.”