Rikko's Very Big Lesson

by Pru


"Mother may I go to the store? " Silence.

"Father, may I go to the store?" Again Silence.

Greasy barked loudly. Rikko stomped his feet and screamed at the top of his little lungs, "Mo..oo..ther..rr..., Fa..ther..rrrr....Ma..aa..yy I...........

"Enough of the screaming Rikko! Enough of the barking, Greasy!" shouted mother standing at the top of the stairs.

"What's all the fuss about?", asked father coming up behind mother still rubbing the sleep from his eyes...

"It's 8 o'clock on a sunny and beautiful Saturday morning and the two of you are still in bed!", said the precocious little boy.

"Well I want to go to the store and if you're too tired to take me then I'll go all by myself!"

"Rikko you are only 7 years old, you can't go to the store by yourself, " replied father. "I can take Greasy with me, if you like," said Rikko with a grin on his face. Greasy was his pet dog who got his name from when a younger Rikko would cover his fur with grease.

"Rikko, you are a very..." began mother...but Rikko cut her off. "I know, I know, I am a very precocious little boy who never listens and needs to learn to be responsible. You've told me this, this many times ..." said Rikko stretching his arms wide. "Now when can we go?" "We shall go to the store after breakfast," replied father shaking his head. "But it's going to be a very busy day in town today. Lots of vehicles will be driving through the streets. When we go YOU and YOU will have to behave added mother pointing to Rikko and Greasy. "Absolutely no running and playing in the streets or on the sidewalks!" Rikko smiled. Greasy Barked.

By ten o'clock the family and Greasy were all in the van and driving to town.

Rikko was excited. Greasy was excited. Rikko could tell by Greasy's constant barking. Today was going to be a lot of fun. Father reached the store and parked in the parking lot just behind the store. They got out of the vehicle. Before mother could take Rikko's hands, Rikko raced into the store holding on to Greasy's leash. As they dashed into the store, an elderly lady was coming out the door. A bag of groceries she held in her hand toppled and wobbled as Greasy slammed into her causing her to lose her balance and causing all her groceries to crash to the floor. Father rushed to the elderly lady's aid. Mother chased after Rikko and Greasy, who were already near the candy stall.

"Rikko, you promised that you and Greasy would behave today, remember?" asked mother. "Uhm...no, I don't," answered Rikko. "You asked us to behave, but WE made no promises." Just then Greasy spotted another dog down the aisle, he sprang towards the dog, dragging Rikko who was still holding on to his leash with him. A newspaper stall that was in their way crashed to the floor as Greasy sped down the aisle. "Aye, aye, aye!" cried mother as she held her head. They hadn't purchased any items yet and already the store's security was chasing Rikko and Greasy around.

Father had, had to rush the elderly lady to the medical station to ensure she was not hurt. When the security officer had caught up to Rikko and Greasy the store looked like a strong wind had blown through it. It was a mess everywhere. Mother had to pay a lot of money in damages and they had to leave the store and wait for father to return whilst standing outside the store. Mother was very angry! Rikko and Greasy stood at her side.

Mother crossed her arms and because she was very cross, she closed her eyes as she always did when she was very annoyed. She started...."Rikko, you have got to stop leaving a mess everywhere you go! You have to learn to be responsible for yourself and Greasy and you must listen when father and I speak to you,, why must you cause such disaster everywhere you go!"

Rikko saw his chance for some fun. Mother's eyes were closed. He would just stay on the sidewalk and play toss with Greasy. Rikko and Greasy raced down the sidewalk. He released Greasy's leash and they played a game of toss. He could still hear mother's very cross up the street saying "Rikko, do you hear me? Rikko, answer me when I speak to you.....!"

Mother opened her eyes....no Rikko..no Greasy... She spun around and around.."What, Where, Who?" Panic started rising inside her... "Where could they have gone? Rikko! Greasy!" shouted mother... "Rikko...."

Down the street Rikko tossed a stick for Greasy, who leaped into the air to catch it, but a strong wind blew the stick into the middle of the very busy street. At the same time Rikko heard mother's frantic cries, he turned to face up the street to see mother runing towards him and Greasy but what he did not see was Greasy run into the middle of the very busy street to retrieve the stick.

Mother saw Greasy in the middle of the street, she saw Rikko on the sidewalk and she saw the car speeding down the street towards Greasy......just then Rikko turned to look for Greasy... Rikko saw Greasy with the stick in his mouth but he also saw the car speeding towards Greasy. For the first time ever Rikko was afraid... "Greasy, come here now...come now now now, Here boy, here boy....come..come to me!" cried Rikko frantically.

The car was approaching quickly....."Maybe I can get him out in time," Rikko thought.

Rikko started to step into the street still calling to Greasy, "Here boy, Here boy...Com Greasy..come now!" Greasy wouldn't come. He was too busy playing with his stick. Rikko's heart pumped in his chest. Panic struck him.

Mother saw Rikko going into the street towards Greasy but she also saw that if Rikko got to Greasy the car which was only inches away from Greasy would hit them both. With speed she never knew she possessed she reached Rikko in no time and pulled him back onto the sidewalk, just in time for them to hear Greasy's yelp and watch in what seemed as slow motion as both Greasy and the stick was thrown into the air. Greasy spun, the stick spun, Greasy spun the stick spun and spun and spun...until they landed a good distance away and up the street. The car had skidded unto the opposite side of the sidewalk after hitting Greasy, other cars had bumped into that car.

Rikko and Mother stood now with father, up the street - in shock staring at Greasy - horror on their faces. Rikko held onto mother's arm, tears in his eyes, he couldn't breather, couldn't move! People were gathered throughout the town now, others were getting out of cars, some crying, some taking pictures. There was glass everywhere. Luckily no passengers had died or gotten seiously injured. But the stick was nowhere to be found - it was gone out of sight and Greasy....Greasy was gone too! He lay where he landed, unmoving. He was gone!

"It's all my fault!" wailed Rikko. "I should have listened to mother today when she told me to behave. If I had listened Greasy would be alive and there would not be such a huge big mess in the town! Oh, Father, oh mother, I wish I had stayed in bed, I wish I didn't shout and bellow sooo this morning and waken you up..I wish I hadn't wanted to come to the store today. I wish I wasn't such a very precocious boy! But I am and now because of me...Greasy is gone....forever!"

Rikko wailed even louder. His face buried in mothers clothes. Mother and Father held him close. They looked at each other neither saying a word. Rikko had learnt a very big lesson today and they were happy about that but they were sad and sorry that he had to lose his best friend to learn that lesson. They put Rikko in the car and headed for home - without Greasy.

Rikko was very sad. Mother and Father were sad that Rikko was sad but from that day on Rikko was a very obedient and responsible boy.

Two Months later Rikko was in the yard training his new pet dog Brownie how to listen and be responsible. After training was finished Rikko sat with Brownie to tell him the story of 'A boy and his best friend Greasy who had gone to heaven.' It was Rikko's favourite story. It was Brownie's favourite story.

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