‘Ah! That's better,’ sighed Creamy happily, crumpling up the empty tub. I really enjoyed that. Feel ready for anything now!’ Then he raised his arm and aiming at a waste basket some way away, he let the tub fly. Unfortunately, he missed.
‘Hey, you!’ a voice boomed from behind them.
Creamy and Lennie both turned.
‘I meant the bear! Don't you know you aren't allowed to throw litter in the street?’
Creamy scowled and stood up. So did the man.
‘Never mind, Creamy,’ said Lennie, ‘just go and pick the tub up.’
‘No way!’ growled Creamy, screwing his eyes up fiercely and glaring at the man, ‘who does he think he is calling me a bear!’
‘And who do you think you are then - if not a bear?’ spluttered the man crossly.
Lennie stood up, and taking Creamy by the paw smiled at the man. ‘If you don't mind, sir, I'll sort it out.’
The man grunted and sat down. Lennie turned to Creamy and said softly: ‘The point is that people aren't supposed to throw litter in the street – and that applies to dogs, too.’
‘Oh?’ said Creamy, suddenly all smiles again, for the way Lennie said it surely he meant him, too? But he thought he would make sure all the same and ask.
‘You mean dogs like you and me?’
‘Right.’ He beamed, ‘I'll pick that tub up, then. No problem!’
‘Excellent, excellent,’ said Lennie, as he watched Creamy trot off.
Lennie jumped at the voice booming right behind him. There was a man standing over him, a walking stick in his hand.
‘That's my shoeshine stand, that is,’ said the man, so off with you – scoot!’
‘Really? Looks just like a box to me,’ said Lennie and jumped off.
‘Well, it ain't just a box,’ said the man, pulling the lid up and propping it open with his walking stick. ‘See what it says here? Pete's Shoe Shine –
Best in Town.’
‘Oh, right,’ said Lennie, backing away a little, but keeping his eye on the man, curious to see what he was up to.
The man ignored Lennie and set about getting his stand ready. In no time at all, there were brushes, pots of polish and several cloths laid out neatly on a tray. The man put the tray down by his feet, and reached into the large box Lennie had sat on. He pulled out a folding stool, and snapping it open called out to Lennie: ‘You still here? Want your shoes done?’
‘ No, but thanks all the same,’ laughed Lennie and clapping his paws, he turned round yelling to Creamy: ‘Hurry back! Got something very interesting to show you.’
‘What is it? Where?’ panted Creamy as he rushed up.
‘Look at this, Creamy. What do you see?’
‘Well, I can't see anything interesting, that's for sure,’ said Creamy, staring around.
‘Ah! But I can, my friend, I can,’ said Lennie, smiling mysteriously. ‘Let me tell you all about it.’
‘Right-o,’ said Creamy, ‘I'm listening.’