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Breaking the Chain written by, Debra J. White.
Harriet, a scruffy gray cat, thought she would be happy in the new house she just moved into with her owner, Candace. In the sizzling hot Arizona summers, Harriet could sit in the cool indoors and watch birds out the windows all day.
After dinner that evening, Harriet jumped onto the windowsill. Instead of finding trees full of birds, she looked into the neighbor’s yard and saw a big brown dog chained to a doghouse. He was barking loudly. Next to the doghouse sat a half-empty bowl of water.
Like a wind-up toy, the dog paced back and forth. The dog’s constant motion and noise annoyed Harriet. She got
down and looked for something else to do.
Silly dog, she thought. He must be crazy.
Later that day, Harriet heard whimpers from the neighbor’s yard. She sped through the house to the living room for a closer look. She jumped onto the windowsill and saw the dog pawing in the dirt near the now empty water bowl.
He must be thirsty, Harriet thought. She wanted to help, but how?
This was a job for the great Harriet.
However, a huge problem stood in her way – how to get out of the locked house.
Candace almost always closed all the windows and locked the doors before leaving for work. But sometimes she forgot to check the basement.
Harriet raced downstairs and, sure enough, she found a window that was slightly open. She pushed her head against it and within seconds, she was outside.
Harriet ran across the yard and climbed the fence. She sat down by the big brown dog and asked, “What’s the matter? Why are you crying?”
“Who are you?” the dog asked, too tired to lift his head off the ground.
“I’m Harriet, the greatest cat in all the County. Your new neighbor.”
“My name is Joey and I’m hot and thirsty,” the dog said, panting heavily.
“Why are you outside tied up like a criminal?” Harriet asked, staring at the heavy chain around Joey’s neck. Her eyes followed the chain and saw that it was hammered firmly to the doghouse.
“I’ve been out here on this chain for three years, ever since I was a puppy,” Joey grumbled. “I’m not a criminal. I never did anything bad. Maybe they thought I’d run away.”
“What happened to your water?” Harriet asked.
“I drank it all.”
“That wasn’t too smart,” Harriet said, staring at the empty bowl. Her glance shifted to Joey. “Aren’t you bored by yourself?”
“Sure, that’s why I bark. I have no one to play with or take me for a walk.”
“Well, I just moved in next door. My owner and I like a quiet neighborhood so try and keep it down,” Harriet said.
“What I need is a friend. Will you be my friend?” Joey asked.
“I’m not used to having a dog as friend, but I’ll think about it,” Harriet said, licking her paw.
“Hey! Maybe my owner can do something to get you off this awful chain.”
“I’ll be your best friend if you can,” Joey said as he stood up, wagging his tail and trying to slobber on Harriet’s cheek.
“Now, now , don’t get too mushy, I’m not that kind of a cat,” Harriet said. “But they don’t call me the great Harriet for nothing. I’ll be back…”
Your assignment is to write an ending to the story above. How does Harriet assist in freeing Joey? How does Joey feel once he’s free? Be creative, it’s your story!
At the end of the contest we will choose one winner which will receive a $50 Amazon ecard and an Mp3 audio file of the story with their ending included.
- Contest ends at midnight of September 1st 2022.
- Contest open to kids 12 and under. We ask that you put the child’s age and name in the entry.
- Winner will be chosen for creativity of the ending.
- Email your best ending to; email@example.com with Contest Entry in the subject line
About the Author of Breaking the Chain
Debra White is a former social worker. Unfortunately, her career ended suddenly on 1/6/94 when a car ran her over, leaving her with brain trauma and other injuries. At the end of a long recovery, she found a new life in volunteer work and creative writing. Debra’s website is currently down but she has a Facebook and Instagram accounts under her name. She also has a Twitter account, happyme. Her book about her 1980s experience as a volunteer in a child abuse prevention program in NYC is due out later this year.