At dusk , with a few stars scattered in the sky , Scotty and Ernie set off for home . As usual , it had been a fun-filled day . They walked in silence , at a leisurely pace , side by side , content to enjoy the peaceful hour .
"Say Ernie , you seem to be in quite a hurry ," Scotty's little legs battled to keep up .
'Well , it's getting late , that's all ," Ernie appeared impatient . He was in a hurry to get back before total darkness enveloped the countryside .
"Why the hurry ? You got something important going on ? " Scotty winked . He WAS Ernie's closest friend , after all …
"As a matter of fact … yes , I do . But I can't tell you . You wouldn't understand , you're just a little dog !"
Scotty's face fell ! Ernie was mean to say that to him . They were best friends and best friends supported each other . Best friends also shared secrets !
In the far distance , Ernie could see the last slice of the sun , as it disappeared on the horizon .
"Aaaah , what a sight for sore eyes ," he sighed .
"What is it ? I can't see …" Scotty jumped up and down with excitement .
"It's obvious you won't be able to see . I am big , tall , strong …." he stopped briefly ," and very important too !" He extended his trunk , pride written all over his face . "You are a small , silly dog ," he looked down at Scotty .
"But my mom says that size doesn't matter . It's what is in your heart that counts ! So there !" Scotty huffed and puffed .
"How can size not matter ?" Ernie laughed . "If somebody attacked us and we called out for help , what do you think will happen ? My voice is big and strong !" He let out a deep trumpet which echoed and was lost in the hills . Scotty shivered . Maybe Ernie was right.
"Now you try ," he turned to the dog . All Scotty could manage was a small yapping sound that was lost in the roaring trumpet that Ernie emitted .
Later that evening , Scotty looked very sad . He didn't even finish his supper .
"What's the matter ?" his mom was concerned .
"Is it true that I am small and silly ?"
"Who told you that ?"
"—– and unimportant —–" it tumbled out .
His mother shook her head and looked at him gently .
"—– with a small heart —–" a single tear rolled down .
"Remember , the physical size of your heart doesn't matter , it's what's inside that is important . If you have lots of love , then you have a "big heart" , she coaxed .
"But Ernie is big , strong , important …" he finished and sat down , defeated .
Just then , young Marty walked onto the front porch . His eyes lit up . He ran to Scotty , arms outstretched .
"Am I happy to see you ! My favourite animal in the whole wide world !" He hugged the dog close to him . Scotty snuggled up . His mum winked at him .
He remembered her words : a dog is a boy's best friend !
Check out the Bluebell Short Story Slam prompt at : http://bluebellbooks.blogspot.com/2011/07/short-story-slam-week-6-childrens.html