2016 Honorable Mention: SLOPPY’S WILE ADVENTURE by Seoyoung Kim

Sloppy was a dog. He and his owner, Mr. Mavrick lived a happy life, but something bad happened. His owner grew old and died. Sloppy was now homeless. He was walking down a highway when a fox came trotting by. Sloppy asked if he was homeless too, but the fox was just a wild animal. Sloppy trotted after the fox, for he was lonely and needed company. Sloppy found out the fox was a girl. She had a whole den of baby foxes. The fox told Sloppy he was scaring her babies. He sadly walked away, he knew he needed to find food. He dug in three trash cans, but still nothing. He knew he needed to learn how to hunt. There was a rat just a few feet away from him. Sloppy crouched low and one… two… three! POUNCE!!! Sloppy caught the rat. Sloppy is a very kind-hearted dog, so he let the rat free. At this point he is starving so, Sloppy limped to the forest nearby. Now for days he only ate and drank grass and water from a clear creek. Several times he tried hunting, but still couldn’t do it. Then he met a wise mole. He told the mole his problems, “Oh Mr. Mole, can you please help me! I am as helpless as an ant in water.” Sloppy pleaded. but all the wise mole could say was, “It is not I who takes care, for it is your mother,” and he went underground. Now Sloppy had a new question in his mind, who was his mother? For so many suns and moons he searched for his dear mother. Sloppy once found a tiger blocking his way, tummy grumbling. The tiger pounced on Sloppy, but Sloppy escaped. The tiger was now after him, just a few feet way. Sloppy knew he needed a plan. He ducked under some bushed. Once the tiger was out of earshot, Sloppy asked a squirrel. He asked squirrel to help him defeat the tiger. “The tiger!” Squirrel exclaimed. “The tiger keeps prisoners in his den including my family!” Squirrel explained “The tiger!” said a little parrot listening from above. “Did you know when I was little I fell out of my nest and the tiger was about to get me but my mother stepped in and the tiger captured my mother, So count me in!” “Count me in too” said a deep voice nearby. A wolf standing just a few feet away told them about the tiger being a really bad guy, and he has captured my family too. Soon almost every animal in the forest wanted to help. Sloppy now explained the plan. They were going to make a net that was invisible, and it had to be really big. For three days they made the net. For those three days Sloppy thought the tiger captured his mother too! On the fourth day the tiger came back now many animals on each side were ready to pull the net when the tiger was there. Then BAM! The tiger was caught. Birds hung him up on a tree. They all demanded where their family was. The tiger said “I’ll never tell you!” “We’ll never let you down!” Sloppy hollered “Fine they’re in my den.” They let the tiger down and made him promise never to capture animals again, and he-never did again. The journey to the tigers den wasn’t that far. There inside were their families. There was a girl dog, so Sloppy asked, “Are you my mother? “No” She said “But you must be Sloppy.” I know who your mother is. She is with a pack of dogs not too far away from here. “Sloppy said good-bye to his friends and searched for his mother. Once he even had to swim across a really vast swamp. There was no way to get across, because he can’t just swim across it would be too tiring. Sloppy now had a choice; number one, go back and live as a highway dog, Number two, make a boat even though he has no idea how to make one. Sloppy chose to make a boat. The first thing he knew, was it needed to be made out of wood, a long time ago he and his owner used to take boat rides all the time. Sloppy chose a log that was big enough to fit two German Shepards. Now was the hard part, Sloppy had to claw a big hole, so he could fit inside. This project took a lot of work, since for a dog, clawing something nonstop hurts their nails. Then after one day of hard work he finished. Now he had to make paddles, but then he thought “Silly me I’m a dog, I can use my feet! “ Sloppy pushed the boat into the water, but… ONCE THE BOAT WAS IN THE WATER IT SWAM AWAY!!!!! “No!” Sloppy said to the outside world “My hard work!” Disappointment flooding through his heart, he wept. Still on the ground thinking he’ll never see his mother ever again. Then he heard something shifting behind him. Fighting back tears he looked behind him, and there were the friends who had helped him capture the tiger with him. Beside them was a new boat, better than the one he made Squirrel broke the silence “Um Sloppy… we know you really want to find your mom, so you can have ours. He thanked them over and over again. Now he was back on track ready to find his mom. Sloppy rode across the vast waters without even a bite to eat. Once he reached land, he gobbled all the grass around him. Step by step he traveled, but only to find disappointment rushing through him again. Right before him was a ground full of red ants everywhere!!! He pleaded with all his might that this was only a dream, but it wasn’t. Sloppy had to climb the trees to get to the other side and the red ant trail was about a mile long. Carefully Sloppy climbed up a tree and started jumping tree after tree. This wasn’t easy and he stumbled a couple of times. After about five hours he reached the other end. Sloppy was so tired he just fell asleep the moment he touched the ground. Days past, one day he came across a pack of wild dogs. “Can you please get out of my way,” he asked. Immediately, an adult girl dog leaped out of the pack and hugged her long lost son. She explained that when he was little animal control took him away from her. Sloppy now had a new life. A life full of happiness and warmth. After a few years Sloppy became a bold leader, but he still couldn’t eat other animals.