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Section 12.1 Small Number and the Dog, the Rabbit, and a Sack of Carrots

Written by: Donna Gerdts and Veselin Jungic

Illustrated by: Bethani L'Heureux

Small Number is a young boy who gets into a lot of mischief. He lives with his family in a house near the creek while his grandmother lives in a house on the other side of the creek.

It is a beautiful summer day and Small Number's mom tells him, “Small Number, get ready! You are going to visit Grandma today. You will help her cut up and stack her firewood. You will also help her with her garden. There is so much work to do at this time of the year.”

Small Number says, “Good, I will go. Can I take my dog with me?”

“Yes, son, you can take Curly Hair. But you will have to carry her across the creek because she doesn't like to get wet.”

“Curly Hair, you are such a good little dog. Let us run!”

To get to Grandma's house, Small Number and Curly Hair have to cross the creek. They go to where there is a bend in the creek. The water is a little slower there. Small Number picks Curly Hair up in his arms and jumps from rock to rock until they are on the other side.

“Hi, Small Number!” said Grandma giving Small Number a big hug. “I am very happy to see you.” Curly Hair was watching them and happily wagging her tail.

Small Number spends the morning chopping wood and stacking it against his grandmother's house. Then in the afternoon, they work together in the garden.

Grandma shows him all the different things she has planted – potatoes, cabbage, and carrots. “The carrots are ready, and I will show you how to pull them out of the ground, clean them, and put them into sacks.” Small Number pulls up many carrots, and Curly Hair digs around and helps too.

Grandma makes tea for Small Number, and then she says, “Thank you so much for your help. You and Curly Hair better head home soon.”

“I would like you to take one sack of carrots to give to your mother. You are a big and strong boy now, so you will be able to carry it.”

“And I have a surprise for you.” Grandma opens a box and a small, gray rabbit jumps outside of the box. “Thank you, Grandma!” yells Small Number.

Grandma smiles, “Just be careful when you cross the creek.” “Make sure that you do not leave Curly Hair and the rabbit alone. Curly Hair is a sweet dog but look how she is looking at the rabbit. Also, do not leave the rabbit alone with the carrots, otherwise you will not have any carrots left to bring to your mom.”

Small Number picks up the rabbit and the sack of carrots and calls Curly Hair to follow. And they head home.

When they get to the creek, Small Number puts the rabbit and the carrots down, and the little dog is watching.

Small Number is puzzled, “Now what do I do? The rocks are very slippery, and I can only carry one at a time.”

Question: How can Small Number safely get everything across the river?