The Lucky Find
Early one morning the clock radio went off in Kate Farber’s room. Kate popped up in bed. Wonka-wonk! Amos-on-the-Airwaves was honking a horn into the microphone.
Is there a car in here? thought Kate.
She looked around her room for cars. Of course there weren’t any. It was just Amos finishing his traffic report. Amos Adams was Tuckertown’s favorite radio announcer, and everyone loved to listen to him.
Amos had stopped honking and started barking. Woof-arf-yip!
Kate looked around her room. It was as neat as a pin, and there were dogs everywhere. They were on her sheets and pajamas. They were dancing across her lamp shade. There were knickknack shelves filled with little glass dogs all lined up in neat rows.
Kate loved dogs. But there would never be a real one in her room. She lived in a garden apartment where the rule was NO DOGS ALLOWED. Kate was a sensible girl. She knew there was no point in begging for a dog. But that didn’t stop her from wishing for one.
She was wishing for one when Amos got her attention with the word contest.
“It’s Adopt-a-Dog Week, and we’re having a song-writing contest,” he said. “We need a catchy song to get people out adopting dogs from the Tuckertown Shelter. Woof-arf-yip! Start writing and send your songs in pronto!”
Pronto means “quickly.” That was just right for Kate. Kate did everything quickly.
She quickly grabbed her glasses from her night table and put them on. The brown frames looked good with her freckles and dark-brown hair.
Then she speed-dialed her best friend, Lucie Lopez.
Kate knew what Lucie would be hearing at the other end. She’d be hearing the special ring they had programmed on their phones. Arfa-arf! Arfa-arf!
Lucie wished she could have a dog, too. But she lived in the same garden apartment building, right next door to Kate. So, instead of a real dog, she had thirty-two stuffed dogs facing every which way in her room. She also had tons of books about dogs. They were piled up in stacks on her dresser, chairs, and even the floor. She had read every single one more than once.
Lucie’s room was as messy as Kate’s room was neat.
Kate pressed the speaker button on her phone and started getting dressed while Lucie’s phone kept ringing. Arfa-arf!
Lucie finally picked up on the fourth arf. Lucie definitely was not a morning person.
“Hullo,” she said sleepily, pushing her ginger-colored bangs out of her eyes.
“Quick! Meet me outside,” said Kate, tying her right sneaker.
“I’m still sleeping,” said Lucie.
“No, you’re not. You’re talking,” said Kate, tying her left sneaker. “We’ve got a song to write, a contest to win! Amos says the dogs at the shelter need our help.”
“Huh?” said Lucie.
“I’ll explain outside,” said Kate. “Hurry up and get dressed. I’m wearing my Dalmatian tee.”
“Mine’s in the laundry,” said Lucie, yawning. “I’ll wear my pink poodle shirt. I got new pink ribbons to match.”
“Of course you did,” said Kate.
Lucie loved ribbons. And she definitely loved pink.
Kate and Lucie had been best friends since they were little. They thought they were the luckiest girls in the world to be living right next door to each other.
By the time they hung up, Lucie had swung her legs out of bed and put one foot on the floor. Squawk! She had stepped on an old stuffed dog that had a squeaker in it.
How did that get there? thought Lucie.
Meanwhile, Kate was already dressed and had tied her hair in pigtails. She grabbed a breakfast bar and headed outside.
On the way, she heard her mom call, “Please take the bag in the hall to the thrift shop!”
“Got it!” said Kate, sweeping up the bag on her way out.
Kate sat on her front steps to wait for Lucie. She didn’t like waiting, but with Lucie for a best friend, she was used to it. While she waited, she hummed a tune and tapped her feet. Five minutes later, Lucie came out.
“Another trip to the thrift shop?” Lucie said when she saw the bag at Kate’s feet.
“My mom’s on a cleaning mission,” said Kate, jumping up. “Let’s go!”
Kate and Lucie started toward the Lucky Find Thrift Shop. They went there a lot, mostly just to look around. And whenever they bought something, they liked knowing the money went to charity.
“Wait till you hear about the song contest!” said Kate. She told Lucie all about it.
“Maybe we could win and help the dogs!” said Lucie. “We’re great at rhyming.” Then she added, “We do it all the timing.”
Kate rolled her eyes. Lucie ignored her and started singing:
Adopt a puppy!
It’s better than a guppy!
“I like it!” said Kate. She took a turn.
Adopt a dog.
It’s better than a hog!
As they walked to the thrift shop, the song got sillier and sillier.
“Hi, Mrs. Bingly!” they called as they walked through the door of the Lucky Find.
“Hi, girls,” said Mrs. Bingly, the store owner. “What have you got there?”
Kate set the bag on the counter. “Mom’s cleaning her closet again,” she said.
“Wonderful,” said Mrs. Bingly, taking the bag to the back of the store.
“Hey, Kate, look at this!” called Lucie.
Lucie was modeling a hot-pink hat with six kinds of fruit on the brim. It was draped with ribbons. Just right for Lucie.
She noticed a fluffy purple boa and tossed it around her neck.
She got a bright-green pocketbook and hung it on her shoulder.
“How many things are you going to try at once?” said Kate, being her usual sensible self.
“Maybe I’ll try on shoes next,” said Lucie.
“If you keep going, you’ll be wearing everything in the store,” said Kate.
Lucie didn’t worry about being sensible. A display of sparkly necklaces had already caught her eye.
“Look at the two with the pink dog bones hanging down,” she said, putting all the other stuff back.
Even Kate couldn’t be sensible once she saw those necklaces.
“Let’s try them on,” she said. “They’re perfect for Adopt-a-Dog Week.”
“They’re perfect for us!” said Lucie.
The girls each grabbed a necklace and went into the fitting room so they could look in the mirror.
“Help me with the clasp,” said Lucie.
“Got it,” said Kate. “Now help with mine.”
They turned to admire themselves.
“These look great on us!” said Lucie.
“Let’s get them!” said Kate.
“Woofa-woof!” they said together, giving each other high fives.
Woofa-wow! Kate and Lucie had no idea they were about to get the surprise of their lives.
The instant their hands touched, the necklaces lit up and there was a pop and a whoosh in the fitting room of the Lucky Find Thrift Shop.
When the smoke cleared, Lucie and Kate couldn’t believe their eyes. Two dogs were staring straight at them from the mirror.
Text copyright © 2013 by Stephanie Calmenson and Joanna Cole
Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Heather Ross