Vusi loved his dog, Domino. Domino was white with three black spots on his back. Vusi’s little sister, Sinazo, loved her cat, Fluffy. Fluffy was black with three white spots on her tummy.
‘My dog is better than your cat,’ said Vusi one Sunday morning as the children were having breakfast. ‘Domino doesn’t scratch me, or drink my milk and he never walks on my schoolbooks with muddy paws.’
‘Domino is very naughty,’ said Granny. ‘When you tell him to sit, he jumps around. When you tell him to jump, he sits down, and when you sit down, he jumps up and licks your face!’
‘My cat is better than your dog,’ said Sinazo. ‘Fluffy does not lick my face nor steal my ice cream. Fluffy doesn’t make a mess in the yard and she never barks.’
‘No need to fight,’ Granny told Vusi and Sinazo. ‘Now finish your breakfast and put Domino and Fluffy in the yard. Then wash your face, brush your teeth, comb your hair and put on your clothes for church.’
Vusi took Domino into the yard. ‘Stay here,’ he said. Vusi ran back inside, but he forgot to shut the kitchen door. Domino followed him right back inside and quickly hid under Vusi’s bed.
Sinazo took Fluffy into the yard. ‘Stay here,’ she said. Sinazo ran back inside, but she forgot to shut the bedroom window. Fluffy went right back inside. She jumped on top of the wardrobe and went to sleep.
The children washed their faces, brushed their teeth and combed their hair. Then they went into their bedroom to get dressed.
Sinazo was trying to reach her dress in the wardrobe. ‘Woof, woof, this is fun,’ barked Domino. He jumped up and licked Sinazo with his long red tongue.
‘Go away, Domino!’ she shouted.
Fluffy woke up. She looked over the edge of the wardrobe and saw Domino jumping on Sinazo. ‘Ssssss!’ she hissed. ‘Get off her, or I will scratch you.’
Just then Granny came marching down the passage. She was wearing her best dress, her smart shoes and her favourite hat. ‘What is going on in here?’ she asked sternly, opening the door. ‘It is almost time to leave.’
At that exact moment Fluffy leaped off the wardrobe and landed on Granny’s head. And at that exact moment Domino tried to jump onto the wardrobe, but instead landed on Granny, knocking her over.
Granny was very cross. ‘You children won’t be getting any chocolate after church today. Now put the animals in the yard and let’s go to church,’ she said.
The children shut the animals in the yard and off they went to church. Domino went to sleep in the sun, but Fluffy climbed onto the roof of the house so that she could see far and wide. Suddenly she heard a soft, squeaky noise. Someone was trying to open the gate into Granny’s vegetable garden! Fluffy looked over the edge of the roof and saw a bad man stealing Granny’s mealies!
‘Hooooowwwwatcha!’ Fluffy screeched, jumping right onto the man’s head.
‘Get off!’ screamed the thief.
The noise woke up Domino. He came bounding around the corner. ‘Woof! Woof! Get out!’ he barked.
‘Get away from me!’ yelled the thief. He jumped over the fence, but Domino was waiting for him. Domino grabbed the thief’s trousers. He pulled and pulled, and growled and growled, and shook and shook. The thief was terrified.
‘Let go!’ he screamed, but then, RRRRRRIIIPPP! The thief’s trousers tore right off. He ran away − up the hill, past the church and all the way home.
Just then Vusi, Sinazo and Granny came out of church. They laughed when they saw a man running by with no trousers on. Then they saw Domino running after him with the man’s trousers in his teeth.
‘You are both very good animals,’ said Granny when they got home. ‘You have saved my vegetables from that thief.’
‘Does that mean we get chocolate after all?’ asked Vusi.
‘Yes,’ said Granny. She bought them each a bar of peppermint chocolate. Then she bought a juicy bone for Domino and a tin of tasty fish for Fluffy.
The thief was so shy because everyone had seen him without his trousers on that he ran away to another town and was never seen again.
By Helen Brain | Illustrations by Jiggs Snaddon-Wood