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FLUFF

Once there was a dog called Fluff. Though his mother had named him Fluff because of his lovely furry coat, he should have been called 'Scruff' because he was always scruffy.
One day, as Fluff played on the road, he noticed a big house. On the roof of the house was a big bone with a large, red bow tied around it. Next to it was a board saying in bold letters: "For the Best Dog in the World".

That is me,' thought Fluff. He was only a pup, and thought no end of himself. He charged at the big iron gate of the house and threw himself against it, "Let me in! Let me in!" he barked.
A serious looking Dobermann was guarding the gate.
"Stop that racket!" he growled. "Did your mother not teach you any manners? We don't let ruffians like you in."
Fluff was angry and disappointed. He ran back home in a huff and burst into tears.
"Why are you crying?" asked his mother, licking his tears. Fluff told her what the guard dog had said.
"He is right, son. You should have asked him to open the gate politely," said his mother.
The next day, Fluff was careful. When he arrived at the gate, he politely asked the Dobermann, "Please let me go in." The Dobermann nodded approvingly and opened the big iron gate.
Thrilled at being inside, Fluff charged into the compound. He was so excited he ran all over the grass. He dug up the freshly-sown flowerbeds and trampled the plants. Suddenly a huge Alsatian gardener dog came barking angrily, "You careless, mannerless pup! how dare you spoil my garden? Go away and don't come back till you learn to behave."
Frightened, Fluff scampered off, his springy tail between his legs. When he told his mother what had happened to him, she scolded him too.
The next day Fluff was careful. After asking to be let in politely, he marched quietly up the drive. He pushed open the front door and trotted in quietly. No one seemed to be around. Or so he thought till a shrill voice startled him, "You dirty pup, see what you did to my clean floor!"
Fluff swivelled around. In dismay, he saw his muddy paw marks on the spotless floor and glowering at him was the maid dog, Mrs. Dachshund.
"Shoo! Don't come back here without a bath. And remember to wipe your paws on the doormat next time." Mrs. Dachshund yapped after him.
Fluff's head hung in shame as he slunk away. He could hear gardener dog and watchdog laughing at him.
The whole of that day he scrubbed and combed his fur until his coat was shiny and smooth. By evening, he was spick and span. 'No one can turn me away now,' Fluff
thought to himself.
The following day, the watchdog whistled in surprise as he opened the gate to see a neat and tidy Fluff. The gardener dog looked on astonished as Fluff walked primly




to the front door and knocked and wiped his paws on the doormat. Mrs. Dachshund was pleased. "That is a good pup. I imagine that you have come for the bone. That way," she said pointing her long nose at the stairs.
Fluff trotted up slowly. He did not want to make any more mistakes. He reached the landing, and onto the terrace. At last the bone! How big, and luscious it looked. Fluffs mouth watered. He could not wait to get his teeth into it. He pounced "Grrrr..." Fluff stopped mid-leap.
Mr. Bulldog was advancing menacingly towards him. "In these parts we use the word 'please' if we want something, we ask nicely," he said sternly.
Fluff was terrified. He sped out of the terrace. 'I don't want that bone,' he muttered to himself. And that was what he told his mother.
However, his mother said, "Never give up, try again."
So there he was the next morning asking Mr. Bulldog sweetly, "Please may I have the bone?"
"Wait," growled Mr. Bulldog letting out an imperative bark.
'Now what?' thought Fluff. He jumped as the flash from a camera blinded him.
To his surprise, there was a big crowd on the terrace.
All the cream of dog society was there including his parents and friends.
A Dalmatian announcer declared, "Now Lady Poodle will present Fluff the prize for the 'Best Dog in the world'.
Fluff did not know what was happening. As he took the bone from the well-coiffed Mrs. Poodle, he nearly forgot to say "Thank you".
Oh, the applause! The pride on his mother's face as she saw her neat and tidy Fluff talking politely was worth watching. How nice to be the best dog in the world! He surely deserved the bone!

Tithi Tavora



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