Their favorite thing in the junk pile was the faded blue doghouse. Mr. Fletcher didn’t have a dog anymore, but the letters on the dog house spelled BUMPER.
They had stashed treasures, planned fun adventures, told stories and made up silly songs in the dog house.
At Biff’s idea, Becka jumped up too and said, “Yes, lets!” Mr. Fletcher may have put more stuff on it. One, two, three, GO!”
Off she ran, lickety-split, with Biff close at her rabbit heels.
“Beat you!” Becka said. She wiggled backwards into Bumper’s old home.
“Careful, Becka; you’re rocking the doghouse; don’t make it fall off the pile!” Biff took his time going in backwards.
“Look what I found, Biff! I wondered why I couldn’t find my Papa Smurf and bouncy ball. It’s a happy day!”
Becka made up a new song:
Clouds so high
In the sky,
Fluffy puffs of white.
What makes you float,
You silly goat,
Sailing out of sight?
Biff made up another one:
If I were a snail
I’d have just one foot.
I couldn’t go fast at all.
I’m glad I’m a rabbit
Instead of a snail,
Because I like to play ball.
“Can you imagine a snail that plays ball?” Becka giggled.
“Nope, but I bet you can’t imagine the answer to this riddle,” Biff folded his rabbit legs across one another as he remembered a riddle he heard Uncle Neil ask Father.
“How much do you want to bet?” Becka asked. “If I get the answer right, I get one of your Wheelie cars. I want the red one.” She pointed to his handful of cars.
“If you don’t know the answer, I get your blue Papa Smurf,” Biff said.
“No fair; that’s my favorite thing.”
“Deal or no deal,” Biff answered. “The red car is my favorite too.”
Becka looked like she was thinking hard. “Okay, tell me the riddle.”
“What kind of cheese is made backwards?” Biff held out his hand, ready to take Papa Smurf.
“That’s a dumb riddle. Cheese can’t be made backwards. Cheese is cheese.” Becka frowned.
“Make a guess,” Biff said. “I’ll give you three guesses.”
“How about Swiss cheese?” Becka said.
“Wrong. Guess again.”
Becka pushed her finger against her nose. “Cottage cheese?”
“Missed again.” Biff was having fun.
“Okay, my last guess is… um, let’s see… string cheese?” Becka looked hopeful.
“Nope – it’s Edam cheese. Get it? Made spelled backwards is Edam. Biff laughed and pointed to the palm of his hand. “Papa Smurf goes right here.”
Becka sighed and handed him over. “Ask me another one. If I get it right, I get my Smurf back.”
“Okay,” Biff said, and thought a bit. He remembered one he heard in school. “What has a neck but no head?”
Becka looked at him, wrinkled her forehead and straightened her hair bow.
“Nothing can have a neck without a head.” Becka pouted. “You’re just being mean…”
“Hold still, Becka, you’re rocking the doghouse,” Biff said.
“I’m not rocking it…”
“You are too!”
“Eee-ow!” Becka grabbed for Biff’s leg as they were thrown around inside the doghouse.
It hit something hard. Biff’s head slammed into a corner of the doghouse and Becka almost fell out when her head hit the top.
Loud crashing noises and thuds filled Biff’s ears. His head hurt.
Suddenly it was dark.
A Narrow Escape
“Becka, we’re moving!” Biff felt scared. “I think we’re on Mr. Fletcher’s truck!”
The truck motor roared and Biff could tell it picked up speed.
“Oh Biff, what will we do? Where are we going?” Becka started to cry. “Momma won’t know where to find us, and we can’t go home. Why didn’t you remember to obey?”
Tears burned Biff’s eyes; he was glad Becka couldn’t see him. Was it his fault they were in big trouble? Biff felt awful. It must be true – he was a bad-luck magnet. Mom was right. He was always getting into trouble. Just when they were having such fun, too.
Biff put his arm around Becka. “You can have your Smurf back.” He found her hand in the dark, but couldn’t think of anything to say that would make either of them feel the least bit better. Instead of splendiferous, this was a terrible day. A big lump came to his throat as he decided to pray.