I've been living in this small town for a little over two months now and things are finally starting to mellow out a little. While trying my best to be more outgoing, I have made a few new, albeit…feral…friends. Who knew that there were entire towns comprised of walking, talking animals…that didn't eat each other?

I looked out the window and pondered about the day's activities. Should I got out and catch a few bugs? Should I go fishing?

I snapped out of my thoughts when I heard a knock at the door. Excitedly, I rushed over to the door and quickly threw it open. I was greeted by Rodeo, who had quickly become one of my best friends in all of Applewood. His gleaming, goofy smile seemed to radiate waves of pure happiness. In one hand, he was holding his red bug net.

"Hey, Abby," he said excitedly. "I was wondering if you'd wanna go out and catch some bugs with me, chaps."

Thankful and excited about the receiving the invitation, I nodded and pulled out my net.

"Awesome!" the bull said. "But first, let's invite a few others!"

Rodeo walked out the door as I happily tagged along. We knocked on our neighbors' doors, hoping to find a few more players for our game. After a few minutes of going door-to-door, we finally had a team that was big enough: Poncho, Gladys, Dizzy, and Butch.

The six of us cheerfully marched over to Wolfgang's house, curious to see if he was even awake. We all knocked on the door in unison, hoping that the blue wolf would appear. It took awhile, but finally, Wolfgang opened his door.

"Whatdoya want, snarrrl?" he asked drowsily.

All together, we held up our nets and flashed him smiles.

Poncho, who was standing in front, was the first to speak. "Wanna go bug-catching with us?"

Lazily rubbing the sleep from his eyes, Wolfgang replied, "Don't you see what time it is?"

I looked down at my watch. It was almost 11 A.M.

"C'mon," Gladys begged. "It'll be great! I even have a spare net if you don't have one, stretch."

"Alright, lil bear," Poncho said, net in hand. "Let's meet up by the waterfall."


"Ok, woo-oo," Dizzy said. "Here are the rules. The person with the most bugs after 10 minutes gets a prize."

Butch cocked his head to the side, curious. "Well," he said gruffly. "What's the prize?"

"I dunno…I guess we'll just let the winner choose what they want," Dizzy shrugged.

Gladys held out her net, her expression showing her eagerness. "Alright, Abby, you got a stopwatch?"

I nodded, holding up my golden stopwatch.

"Good," she smiled. "Poncho, can you keep the time?"

"Sure!" he proudly replied. "I'm the time-keeping champion!"

"Alright," Butch barked. "Everyone has 10 minutes."

Poncho held up the stopwatch, his finger delicately placed on the button.

"3…2…1…GO!"


"That's it, everyone!" Poncho announced. "Time's up!"

At the sound of Poncho's voice, everyone dropped their nets and headed back over to the tumbling waterfall. We gathered together in a circle, patiently waiting to declare the winner.

Poncho walked back towards me, returning my precious stopwatch. "I caught a Stag beetle by the beach and 3 butterflies by the main gate."

"I caught 3 little bumblebees," Rodeo said, slightly blushing. "Aren't they just the cutest?"

"I caught 3 Yellow and 2 White butterflies," Butch piped up proudly.

"Aw, stetch," Gladys said, slightly disappointed in herself. "I only caught a fly…"

Dizzy couldn't help but let out a laugh. "I caught two fleas off of Chevre's back!"

I had caught 5 Yellow butterflies and 3 Tiger butterflies, but I decided to hold my tongue. Butch seemed so happy being the winner, so I decided to let him have this one.

We all turned our gazes towards Wolfgang, who had a scowl on his face. He was growling to himself. It was so low that no one could make out what he was saying.

I could see the hatred in his eyes; the bitter anguish and fury. His beady eyes were reflecting a feeling of harsh anger. Our lupine friend was slowly becoming a ticking time bomb, an ignited explosive.

Before anyone could make a move, Wolfgang threw his net on the ground, snapping it clean in half. He crossly folded his arms and turned away from us, avoiding our gazes.

"I didn't want to play this stupid game anyway…"

Butch, who took offense to Wolfgang's sudden outburst, came over and poked Wolfgang in the chest.

"What's the big idea, ROOOOOWF?" he inquired angrily.

Wolfgang shoved the tan and orange dog off of him. "Nothing!"

"If nothing's wrong, why are you acting this way?" Gladys nervously asked.

Butch was still in Wolfgang's face, growling. "What's your problem then, ROOOOOWF?"

Wolfgang shoved Butch even harder, desperate to get him out of his personal space. "Leave me alone, snarrrl!"

What started out as a friendly game was slowly turning into a free-for-all. I knew that we all wanted it to stop, but none of us knew how to stop it.

Rodeo, the passive bull that he was, walked towards Wolfgang with a gentle demeanor. "It's not such a bad thing to lose…"

"If you're gonna be such a jerk, why did you play with us, ROOOOOWF?" Butch interrogated.

"Shut up, Butch!" Wolfgang demanded. It was then that I knew that Wolfgang had reached his breaking point.

With one final push, Butch shoved Wolfgang as hard as he could. Unable to find his balance, Wolfgang tumbled onto the ground, landing hard next to his broken net. Wolfgang's muzzle slammed into the dirt, covering his face in dust and grime. For a few seconds, all he did was lie there, still.

The rest of us, frozen in shock, let out thunderous gasps. It was obvious that Butch regretted what he did because he walked next to Wolfgang and offered to help him up.

Wolfgang brought himself up to his feet, rejecting Butch's offer. He picked up the busted net and stormed off towards his house, letting out barely audible sniffles on his way back home.