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Pick of the Litter

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s John watched from the car, he saw his one and only son being bullied at the bus stop. Two larger kids were pointing and laughing; making faces and holding up Coke Bottles in front of their eyes. As they gestured and called him Frankie Four eyes, anger filled the father.

He was just about to jump out of his car and go tell the boys what he thought of their behavior when his son shook his head no. Frankie kept walking towards the car, and finally the other boys left.

Frankie opened the door and said, 'Hi Dad.'

John was furious. He answered, 'Who were those kids? I am going to call their parents and tell them what cruel little monsters they're raising.'

Frankie interrupts saying, 'No, don't do that. It's my fault, really. We had a school baseball game today. I never get picked. No one ever wants me on the team and so the teacher made those guys choose me. We were winning the game and there were 2 outs already so it looked like we were going to get the Room trophy. But then, wouldn't you know it, a guy slams it to the outfield right where I'm standing. And by the time I saw it, it was sailing over my head. We lost the game! That's why they were giving me such a hard time. I deserved it.'

'Son, you don't deserve it. No one should ever be mean to another person, especially for something as trivial as missing a ball,' answered John.

'But Dad, it was for the trophy! We didn't get it because I couldn't see the ball. I know you and mom want me to go to a regular school, but sometimes I wish I was completely blind, that way I could go somewhere that people would like me and choose me to play with them.' said Frankie.

'Oh son, I'm so sorry. I never knew it was so bad. Why didn't you tell me the kids did that?' asked John.

'I kind of hoped you wouldn't find out. I didn't want you to think I was a loser too,' explained Frankie.

'I would never think that son!' said his father.

'Hey, what do you say we go to the pet store? It will be Christmas in a few days and we could select a new goldfish,' asked John.

'Ok. Goldie would probably like a friend in his tank,' replied Frankie.

The pet store was busy kittens, hamsters, fish and puppies were being petted, cuddled and put on hold for Christmas Eve.

As Frankie walked in, he overheard one of the shop managers telling the clerk that they'd have to reduce the price on the little cocker spaniel. Again!

When the clerk asked why, the manager replied, 'What do you mean why? Take a look at him. He's been here 4 months already. Every other puppy has been adopted in a matter of days, but when they see that one, they just make a face and keep walking. He'll never get picked. I should have sent him back the day he arrived, but I didn't notice it then. See his face he's got a cataract in one eye so he can'˜t see out of it.' said the manager.

'Oh, I just thought he had one blue eye and one brown one. Now that you mention it, I do see it. He looks so sad too. He never even barks. He just lies in the corner,' replied the clerk.

'Well can you blame him? Poor fellow, he watches all his doggy friends come and go, day in and day out, and yet he never gets picked. It's not his fault he can't see. But we'll sure have a hard time finding a home for him,' said the Manager.

As Frankie stood there listening to the employees, his eyes filled up with tears. His father had heard the entire conversation as well.

'Frankie, what do you think about that puppy in the corner there? You know, the one with the beautiful eyes? Would you like to take him home with us?' asked John

Frankie looked up at his father and excitedly responded, 'Really? Dad, are you serious? You said we couldn't afford a dog right now, that I could only have goldfish. Do you mean it? Can we really take him home? Oh Dad, I'd love him so much. I promise to take him on walks and to feed him and to...'

'Play ball with him,' interrupted his Dad.

'Definitely play ball with him!' said Frankie.

And that Christmas, as John watched his son and family dog playing fetch in the back yard, he knew he'd picked the best gift of all!

Jenn Landers


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