In April it rained day after day after day after day.
Henry was getting bored. Mudge was chewing up everything in the house. So Henry said, "Let's play outside anyway."
He put on his raincoat and sneakers and went outside with Mudge. Henry forgot to ask his father if it was all right.
When Mudge stepped into the wet grass, he lifted his paws and shook them. "Too bad you don't have sneakers," Henry said. And he walked in a circle around Mudge. Squish, squish, squish, squish.
Mudge listened and looked at Henry. Then he got closer to Henry and wagged his tail and shook the water from his big wet furry body all over Henry. Henry wiped the water from his face. "Aw, Mudge," he said.
The two of them went walking. And down the road they found a big puddle. A giant puddle. A lake puddle. An ocean puddle. And Henry said, "Wow!"
He started running. Mudge got there first. SPLASH! Muddy water all over Mudge.
SPLASH! Muddy water all over Henry. It was the biggest, deepest puddle they had ever seen. And they loved it.
When Henry's father called for Henry and didn't find him, he went outside. He looked down the road. SPLASH! he heard. He put on his raincoat and went walking.
SPLASH! he saw. Henry's father saw Mudge, with a muddy face and muddy tail and muddy in between.
Henry's father saw Henry, with a muddy face and muddy sneakers and muddy in between. And he yelled, "Henry!"
No more splashes. Just a boy and a dog, dripping. "Hi, Dad," Henry said, with a little smile. Mudge wagged his tail.
"Henry, you know you should have asked me first," Henry's father said.
"I know," said Henry.
"I am surprised at you," Henry's father said.
"I'm sorry," said Henry.
"I don't know what to do with you," Henry's father said.
Henry looked sad. Then Mudge wagged his tail, licked Henry's hand, and shook the water from his big wet furry body all over Henry and Henry's father.
"Mudge!" Henry yelled.
Henry's father stood there with a muddy face and muddy shoes and muddy in between. He looked at Mudge, he looked at Henry, he looked at the big puddle.
Then he smiled. "Wow," he said. And he jumped in.
He splashed water on Mudge. He splashed water on Henry. He said, "Next time, ask me along!"
Henry said, "Sure, Dad."
And Henry splashed him back.
Other Henry and Mudge stories include:
"Henry and Mudge"
"Henry and Mudge in the Green Time"
"Henry and Mudge Under the Yellow Moon"
"Henry and Mudge in the Sparkle Days"
"Henry and Mudge and the Forever Sea"
"Henry and Mudge Get the Cold Shivers"
"Henry and Mudge and the Happy Cat"
"Henry and Mudge and the Bedtime Thumps"
"Henry and Mudge Take the Big Test"
"Henry and Mudge and the Long Weekend"
"Henry and Mudge and the Wild Wind"
"Henry and Mudge and the Careful Cousin"
"Henry and Mudge and the Best Day of All"
"Henry and Mudge in the Family Trees"
Excerpted from the book HENRY AND MUDGE IN PUDDL TROUBLE, text by Cynthia Rylant and illustrations by Sucie Stevenson. Text copyright 1987, by Cynthia Rylant; illustrations copyright 1987, by Sucie Stevenson. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc. Children's Publishing Division. All rights reserved.
Pub Date: 9/20/98