Puppy Love  

Patrick spent the entire day trying to find a way to tell Cricket that he loved her too.  For some reason, it felt strange to say this to her for the first time, and he was getting very nervous.  "One word at a time," he thought, remembering Mr. Remington's advice. 

Still, no words were coming out of his mouth when he tried to speak.

Cricket looked up at the big clock on the school and saw that it was way past the 4:00 time that Wiggle said she would be there. 

"Something must be wrong," she said.  "Wiggle would never forget us."

"What should we do?" she asked Patrick nervously.

"Oh, don't worry," said Patrick.  "She'll be here any minute."

"But it will be dark soon," said Cricket.  "I think we should find someone and tell them we are here.  A police officer maybe.  What if Wiggle is in trouble and she needs our help?"

Before they could find a pawlice pawficer, a pawlice pawficer found them.  "Hello guys!" he said.  "Are you both ok?"

"Pawficer Andy!" exclaimed Cricket and Patrick .

His police radio crackled a message that Cricket and Patrick couldn't understand.  Pawficer Andy leaned over to answer it.

"They're safe and sound," he told the dispatcher.  "I'll wait here until they get picked up!"

"How did you know we needed you?" asked Patrick.

"Kramer called the station because Wiggle was so worried.   They let us know you were here alone.  Wiggle is ok now, but she had some tire trouble earlier today."

"Tire trouble?" asked Patrick.  "Was it bad?"

"She's going to need a new tire, but she will be just fine," Pawficer Andy told them. "She's been through a lot today but she should be here any time now."

Patrick knew he had one last chance to tell Cricket about his feelings for her.  "Do you mind if I go show Cricket something?" Patrick asked the Pawficer politely.

"Just stay nearby," said Pawficer Andy.  "I'll be here if you need anything."

"Follow me!" Patrick said to Cricket, and they ran back up to the play structure.

"A Tic Tac Toe game!" said Cricket, "Let's play!"

No matter what move Cricket made, Patrick forced the game so that neither of them could beat the other. 

When they were all out of squares to move, Patrick said "Look!  It's a secret message for YOU!"

"What does it say?" asked Cricket. 

"The x's stand for kisses, and the o's stand for hugs," he told her.

"The fact that it's a tie is a secret message that when you really  love someone you want them to win as much as yourself."

Cricket looked at the game board and smiled.

Patrick got all of his courage up and finally said, "It means I love you too!"

Cricket and Patrick were so happy with themselves, they barely heard Wiggle pull up to get them.

Pawficer Andy went over to see how Wiggle was doing and to say hello to Henry and the others.

"They're good kids," Pawficer Andy told Henry.  "They didn't panic, and they had just decided to find a pawficer to talk to when I got here.

"Thanks so much for getting over to them," Henry said.

"No pawblem," said Pawficer Andy.  "Helping kids stay safe is a top priority to me!" 

"Thank you also for introducing us to your friend Pawficer Ellen," Henry said.  "We had a wonderful time meeting her!"

"She's the best!" agreed Pawficer Andy.

"And so are you!" said Henry, as he called to Patrick and Cricket to get in the bus.

"I heard you had a tough day Wiggle," said Pawficer Andy.

"It wasn't all bad," she told him.  "I made some new friends on this adventure."

"Just like when your tail light was out," said Henry.

"That reminds me," said Pawficer Andy.  "Did you ever get that fixed?" 

Everyone laughed.

"Now I have to get some new tires," said Wiggle.  "I don't know why they call it the GOLDEN years when you are my age.  They should call it the RUSTY years!" she giggled, but she was only half kidding.

"Well we should go," said Henry.  "We pawmised we would get some new tires tonight, so we'd best be on our way."

"Good luck!" said Pawficer Andy.

"Bye and thanks!" everyone called out to him as they set off.

Henry noticed through the rear view mirror that Patrick and Cricket were holding paws.  "They must have had a very special day," he thought.