CHAPTER 2

CHAPTER 2

Bottoms Up

TT is crying and yelling. We’re going to miss our gelato pig-out.

I feel like crying too. What about finding Benjamin?

In a few minutes, I hear a screech of brakes .and look out

“Pal there it is, by the front door of the bakery. ”Mrs. Prance pulls out a striped dishtowel. It whistles through the air and snaps the driver’s shoulder. “It’s get up and go time. So let’s get going.”

Here comes the driver. Hooooray!!

“Sorry, lady, you were in such a hurry.”

“I still am.”

I’m tossed into the cab. My smile is back and it won’t leave.

I take a short nap or try to. I wish my tail would stop shaking. I suck in my breath and try to ignore the closed in feeling.

I put my eye to the hole. We’re at the airport. How will I get on the plane? I am panting and worrying about getting on the airplane. The words Bad Luck Dog, repeat in my head. I mustI make it on the plane.

Mrs. Prance piles her suitcases on a trolley. She puts the bag with me in it on the top. She arrives at the check in and announces to the attendant. “I’m keeping this garment bag with me. It filled with expensive clothes.” She tries to pick it up. “It’s get up and go time. I wonder why this bag is so heavy I can hardly lift it.”

I start to tremble. Mrs. Prance, please take me with you. I don’t want to be crushed and smashed under the luggage in the bottom of the plane. I say a prayer and hope.

I hear a man’s voice. “Dear, I’ll help you take your bag through security.”

Mrs. Prance answers, “For pity sakes, thank you for your help.”

I feel my bag being lifted onto the conveyor belt and I move forward

I roll into a tight ball and hide my face under my paws. I hold my breath and hope.

I hear a scream. “Oh no! Look what you did!”

I look out of a small hole in the side of the bag. There’s a tiny, girl sitting in a puddle of pee. At least it smells like pee.

She giggles and yells, “I pee pee! I pee pee!”

Her mother tries to explain. “I dropped my purse. I just sat Kelly down here for a minute.”

People are complaining. “Hurry up. We’ll miss our plane. Yuck! She peed.”

The guard shouts, “Everyone calm down! I’m in charge here.” He stops the conveyor. “What a mess! I need a cup of coffee.”

The mother picks up her grinning girl.

Mrs. Prance pulls out a red and black dishtowel and snaps it in the air. “Use my towel for clean up.”

“Thanks lady.”

The security guard wipes the puddle up. His hands are shaking and he’s muttering. “Quiet down everybody. I’m hurrying.”

He starts the conveyor belt. Mrs. Prance and I go right through. Somebody up there is listening to dog prayers. Hooray for little kids and pee pee.

We make it on the plane. TT and I are hanging on a hook near the kitchen and Mrs. Prance is sitting in an aisle seat nearby.

The “fasten your seatbelt” sign comes on and the plane moves forward.

Within a few minutes the flight attendant announces, “Breakfast will be served shortly. You may purchase scrambled eggs and hash browns, or pancakes and fruit,”

TT alarm! It’s time for an airplane pig-out.Get me some food!

“TT, don’t forget the miserable Burp Blast . . .

Silence at last.

I peek out. A little boy sitting next to Mrs. Prance yells, “I want pancakes I love pancakes.”

“I love pancakes, too,” says Mrs. Prance. “But the egg and potato breakfast sounds good to me.”

The food comes and the little boy jumps up. “Mommy, where’s my syrup? I want syrup.” He runs down the aisle yelling, “I want syrup.”

Everyone is busy talking and eating. I unzip, crawl out and slide along the floor. My Silent Creeper trick should do it. I slide two paws forward pull up my rump. I reach up and grab Hudson’s pancakes off the tray. I stuff them into my mouth. Gobble one, two, four large soft tasty pancakes for TT and me.

I creep back toward the garment bag and I’m almost there. Oh fiddle, here comes Hudson. I roll under the nearest seat but my tail flops out. I flatten, cover my face with my paws and play dead. I watch him with one eye. He stops and looks at my tail. He squats down and looks under the seat. He reaches out a finger and pokes me. I squeeze my eyes closed and try not to breathe.

“Open your eyes doggy.” He takes a finger and tries to pry my eyes open but I snap them shut.

“Poor doggy’s dead.” He turns away and starts to leave. He comes back and pets my head. “Good bye doggy. I have to go and eat my pancakes.”

When the aisle is clear I hurry back and jump into the bag. I do a quick zip almost to the top. I made it.

TT complains again. I’m still hungry. I want syrup. I love syrup.

“No TT. Ouch! Stop pinching me!”

Mrs. Prance is complaining, too. “What a little plate, and just a dab of scrambled eggs. I need some toast. Where’s the butter?”

“Mommy, I saw a dog. He’s under that seat over there. He’s dead.” Hudson points across the aisle.

“Honey, dogs don’t fly on airplanes unless they’re tiny and in a carrier.”

Hudson jumps up runs down the aisle. He looks under the seat.

“The dead doggy’s gone! He wasn’t tiny he had a fat tummy. He didn’t move. His eyes wouldn’t open up.”

“Come here, no more stories. Aren’t you hungry?”

Hudson returns and looks at his tray. “Where are my pancakes?” He starts to whimper and looks on the floor by his seat.

His mother reassures him. “That’s odd. They were on the tray. Don’t cry Hudsie, honey, we’ll get more pancakes from the attendant.”

Hudson points at Mrs. Prance. “She did it. She’s a meanie.”

Hudson’s mother frowns, “I can’t believe you’d take food from a child,” she snaps.

Poor Mrs. Prance, doesn’t know about TT my Terrible Tummy.

“I’m not a meanie! I didn’t touch Hudson’s breakfast.” Mrs. Prance pats her bag. “No worries. I carry my own food right in here.”

Her bag is a grocery cart without wheels. It’s filled with pizza, Puffers, chicken legs. You name it and she’s got it.

The steward brings more pancakes for Hudson. He turns to Mrs. Prance. “Madam, one serving of food per person. We are not running a restaurant here!”

Mrs. Prance pulls a striped dishtowel out of her bag and wipes her face. “I’d never steal food from a child.” She puts her head back and closes her eyes.

I guess I’ll take a nap, too. Sleep waves are creeping into my head. I start to panic. My nightmare is back. I’m in the cage and I can’t escape. My tail is trembling. I must think of something pleasant like finding Benjamin again. I need air not food. I’ll sneak out of here and investigate the bathroom.”

I unzip, crawl out, and move into my Invisible Creeper trick. Crouch down and two paws forward, pull up my rump. I crawl into the bathroom. It’s so small in here. I can’t quite close the door. Hmm, I feel like I’m in a cage. I must calm down I won’t stay in here very long.

Someone is coming behind me! I thought the seatbelt sign was on. I see Mrs. Prance weaving down the aisle.

“Look out TT, I have to flatten you. It’s time to look like a rug. I put my paws over my muzzle. Fat TT won’t flatten! I squish him down.

Fat TT! If I’m fat you’re fat. So THERE!!

Mrs. Prance mumbles, yawns and opens the door. “Airplane bathrooms are like closets.”

She almost closes the door and steps on me. Her extra wide running shoes grind into my back.

I roll over and out from under her shoes. She falls against the door and crashes into the hall.

I run out of the bathroom, jump back into the garment bag and peek out.

The passengers hear the noise. Some people jump up while others yell, “What a blast! Did you hear that crash? What’s going on here?”

I peek again. My dear Mrs. Prance is on her hands and knees. Her slacks are riding low and her pink panties are showing. I cover my eyes with my paws.

An attendant hurries up the aisle. “Are you okay? What happened in the bathroom?”

Mrs. Prance manages to stand up.“ I’m sorry.” She looks around. “I guess I lost my balance and fell against the door. I’m sure I wasn’t alone in the bathroom. Something fury . . .

“Hmm, I doubt that.” The attendant shakes her head. “There’s hardly room for one person in the bathroom.”

The passengers continue to chatter and look around. “That red headed gal smashed out of the bathroom door. She had a problem with the little kid sitting next to her.”

“Please, everyone quiet down. Accidents happen.” The attendant leads Mrs. Prance to her seat.

When the jet plane lands at Fiumicino Airport in Rome the pilot talks to the steward. He makes a call. Two porters appear at the airplane’s door. They grab me and the garment bag and escort Mrs. Prance out of the plane, through the airport and to the taxi stand. The porters hail a taxi. They load us into the taxi.

I did it. I’m in Rome. My heart sings, so I’ll sing, but in a tiny dog voice. I open my muzzle a little bit. My happy song slips out the side of my mouth. Here I go. “TT, are you listening?”

Stubb, HOLD IT RIGHT THERE! You’ve forgotten about eating. I might have to use the words you hate. You’re a B.L.D. I wish you were a B.L.T. but you’re a BAD LUCK DOG.

“TT, put a freeze on mean words and pinches. Nothing can stop me from singing my happy song. I’m here in Rome and I’m celebrating. Here’s my celebration song.”

Mrs. Prance with pink pants,

You’re a dear your bag got me here,

I loved the ride I was able to hide.

Rome, Rome, I love being in Rome,

It’s easy to forget about going home.

Helper, hero, that’s what I’ll be

I’ll find my Ben he needs me.