Painting by Blond Duck
“This is not right.”
Standing stiffly in the center of the room, Mr. Rochester regarded the shiny floating balls with distrust. ”Pardon me,” he called to the girl waving a tiny wand. A strand of bubbles followed her arm as her hand waved up and down.”I believe you’re leaking.”
The girl paid him no heed, giggling as she skipped around the room. ”Ball! Ball! Ball!” A lab raced by him, snapping at the balls. The second his teeth pierced the rainbow flesh, the ball popped and vanished.
“Magic balls,” Mr. Rochester muttered, intrigued.
“Catch it! Catch it! Catch it!” A border collie dove to the floor, scratching a wet splotch where a ball had just landed. ”I’ll find it! I’ll find it.”
“The balls don’t bounce or pop,” Mr. Rochester murmured, his large frame lumbering across the room. He scarcely glanced to the humans in the cage outside. He knew first hand from his observations from years of weekly ‘playmates’ as his human called them that the humans were little more than lab rats, scurrying about in a maze dragging a wagon of toys along with them.
“Watch out!” He raised his paw, inches over a bloodhound’s head. ”You nearly crushed me,” the bloodhound groused, not bothering to lift his head off the floor. ”It would have been a shame to die before I tracked this bubble.”
“Bubble?” The Great Dane cocked his head.
“Yeah, bubbles. They’re great. Not very tasty though.” The bloodhound threw his head back and howled. ”This way! She went this way!” He sprinted after the girl. She glanced behind her and shrieked, the bubbles blasting from her wand as she ran.
“Sherlock, stop! Sherlock!” The girl slipped, screaming as she crashed to the floor. The lab pounced on her stomach, bouncing as the bloodhound sniffed her empty hands. ”Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles!”
“Bubbles!” The border collie skidded after the wand. A cloud of bubbles fueled by the fanning of frenzied tails drifted around Mr. Rochester. Leaning forward, he sniffed one. A burst of rainbow popped on his nose. His long pink tongue snaked up and over the slick black.
Mr. Rochester’s tail waved back and forth. Springing up with all four of enormous paws, he leaped in the midst of the bubbles, twisting and snapping and slurping.
For suddenly, Mr. Rochester was befuddled no more.
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