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Dottie sat at the kitchen table and fidgeted with her waffles, pushing them back and forth in the buttery maple syrup. She was not really hungry and had a lot on her mind.
She kept replaying the events of last night over and over again in her mind. What happened to Fluffy? Was it the owl? Was there something else in the room she missed? She determined that she and Gordo needed to go back to Mort’s tree house to look for more clues.
“Sweetheart, please hurry up. You need to brush your teeth and head off to school.” Her mother chided.
Dottie looked up at her mom. She was a trim attractive lady whose blonde hair was neatly coiffed. She wore a smart navy blue business suit and was glancing at the front page of the local paper as she poured a cup of steaming hot coffee.
“You look nice mom. Are you showing a house today?” Dottie asked.
“I actually have two appointments today. One is a new client but the other is close to making a decision.” Dottie’s mom replied with a hopeful tone in her voice.
Dottie looked down at her waffles. She wondered if she moved them around a bit if she could make it look like she had eaten. It is times like this that she wished she had a dog or at least a little brother to feed this food to.
“Mom, I really want to take karate lessons.” She said, not looking up.
Her mom sighed but continued to read the paper and took a sip of her coffee.
“Dottie, we have talked about this before. Isn’t there some other activity you would like to be involved in? You love soccer.” She responded.
“How do you expect me to become a samurai one day if you will not let me take classes?” argued Dottie.
Her mom neatly folded up the paper and looked at Dottie.
“Well, sweetie, I do not really expect you to grow up to be a samurai. There are many other career paths to explore. I do not know how the job prospects are for samurai, but I think they are fairly slim.”
At that time, Dottie’s father breezed into the kitchen. He was in the process of tying his necktie. Dottie smelled the spice of his cologne.
“Good morning ladies! How are my two favorite girls?” He kissed his wife on the cheek and bent over to kiss Dottie on her forehead.
Dottie’s dad was tall with dark hair that was going a little grey at the temple. He was full of energy and always in a hurry, almost as if he was always running a little late.
“Daddy, can I be anything I want to be when I grow up?” Dottie asked her father with her big green eyes wide with feigned innocence.
Without missing a beat, her father took a bite of the wheat toast with orange marmalade spread on top and took the bait.
“Well of course you can, pumpkin.” He answered as he chewed his toast. He paused to wash it down with a gulp of hot tea.
“And you would support me in whatever I wanted to do?” Dottie added.
“Of course. I just want you to be happy.” He said and then stopped as he saw his wife standing nearby with her arms crossed.
“Bill, Dottie would like to take karate lessons. As WE discussed, I don’t think it is appropriate for her.” Dottie’s mom said to him.
“What could it hurt? It would be good exercise and conditioning. Besides, it would give her a boost of self confidence.” He responded as he took another bite of his toast.
“Don’t talk with your mouth full. I do not think Dottie has a problem with confidence. And I do not think we should encourage her aggressive tendencies. Do you remember what happened with that Thompson boy?” Dottie’s mom asked.
“Do I not get a say in this?” Dottie asked, clearly irritated.
“No dear. Now get your backpack and go to school. Gordo should be stopping by in a minute to walk you to the bus stop. Your father and I will discuss it some more and we can talk about it later. Now off you go. Love you.” Dottie got up and kissed her mom first and then her dad.
“Are you getting enough sleep, honey?” her Dad asked. “You look very tired.”
“I am fine. At least it is Friday and I have all weekend to rest. It has been a long week at school.” She smiled. At least she didn’t have to finish her waffles although she should take them for Gordo. The poor boy probably had only a grape and a piece of celery for breakfast.
She slung her backpack over her shoulder and bounced out the door to meet Gordo who was lumbering up the sidewalk. He greeted her with a yawn.
“Come on Gordo, we have another long day ahead of us.” Said Dottie as she waved at her parents who were standing in the doorway watching them walk to the bus stop.
Next Week: School Daze
Words and Pictures Copyright SF Varney