"Woof?" Red Dog asked.
I knew exactly what was on his mind.
That spring, every day blackbirds had come to our garden pulling up our corn-sprouts. Each evening, groundhogs had stuffed themselves with our sprouting bean-plants, and during the nights cutworms had chewed down our cabbage sets.
Then all summer Red Dog and I had worked hard in our garden. We had replanted every cabbage plant and each evening we had stayed outside chasing away groundhogs. We'd even put up a scarecrow to keep away the blackbirds. So now, at summer's end, the corn stood tall, and heavy clumps of beans hung from all the bean-vines.
That evening animals were visiting us again. Taking dust-baths between rows of corn, a dozen noisy house-sparrows fluttered on the ground. Above the big, round heads of cabbage flitted a dozen white cabbage-butterflies. And among the pepper plants at the garden's far end, a rabbit reared on his hind legs gazing at us, sniffing the air with his little black nose...
"I see him," I said to Red Dog. "Well, if he needs something from our garden, let's let him take it. Maybe this summer we haven't shared enough with our neighbors. You know, Red Dog, when I see these animals, I become even happier than when I gather tomatoes, squash and beans... "
Red Dog sniffed the air, then sent a low growl toward the rabbit. It was clear that he didn't like my new garden-sharing idea.
However, before long Red Dog lay sleeping in the low-slanting afternoon sunlight, stretched between two rows of onions... while a white cabbage-butterfly perched playfully on his wet nose.