Kato followed Kid Joey through the trees, not letting him out of his sight, because he was exploring ahead on the trail, pretty far ahead of Mom and Dad and Rosie and Brie.
He looked up and saw Sir WHIP flying above, doing loose loops in the sky, so as not to get too far ahead of the family that had kind of adopted him - well, as far as a fire- breathing dragon can be adopted.
Kid Joey came to a log that crossed a stream, and started across, and Kato came sliding to a halt, tilted his head, watching Kid Joey hold his arms out, balancing himself on the round thing and take careful steps until he was halfway across the stream.
That didn't look like a dog thing to do. It looked pretty scary, in fact, until Kid Joey said, "C'mon boy! It's okay, you can do it!" and patted his thigh, making a smoochy sound with his lips. Kato thought that sound was the most hilarious thing ever and sometimes stalled in coming when called just to get Kid Joey to make the sound again and again.
But now he wasn't stalling, he was truly leery. He looked at the stream that was probably waist-deep on Kid Joey, and back to the log.
"C'mon, ya big chicken!" Kid Joey called, making that hilarious sound, which made Kato's tail wiggle, in spite of his fear. "C'mon! Rosie's going to get ahead of us!! Hurry up!"
Kato placed an unsure paw on the log. It was sunken into the stream bank and didn't budge or anything, but it was round and hard to steady himself on. He took a step, and gave a little whimper of distress, staring at Kid Joey's face until it laughed.
"You goofy dog! Just take it slowly. And remember, the worst that can happen is you'll fall in the water and have a little swim! It's a nice day!"
Kato took a couple more steps, and a couple of more, careful to adjust his paws if they began to slide on the curved surface. And before he knew it, he was standing just behind Kid Joey.
"See, you can do it! Silly mutt!"
Oh yeah? Kato thought, wagging his tail, and he bumped Kid Joey's butt with his nose.
Well, it was hysterical! Kid Joey waved his arms, trying to balance, his feet slipping, and he finally tipped to the side.
Into the little stream Kid Joey plopped!!
But when Kato nosed Kid Joey into the water, he lost his own balance and ker-splashed in right next to him!
By that time Kid Joey had stood up, and now splashed Kato as he dog-paddled around, enjoying the nice cool water in the hot sun that beat down on his head.
"Hey! A swim wasn't part of the plan!" Dad shouted, crossing the log and coming upon his son and dog who were soggily climbing onto the far bank of the stream.
"Well, maybe not in ours, but it sure was in Kato's!" Kid Joey laughed as Mom (who handed him a towel from the pack on Dad's back) caught up.
Not to be left out of the fun, when Rosie was halfway across the log, Brie nudged her human sister, who yelped on her way to the cool water, and Brie, though she didn't lose her balance, jumped in to keep Rosie company. Besides, she liked water too!
Mom and Dad sat on the log as Kid Joey and Kato joined their sisters (one human, one canine) in the water and splashed and played while Mom and Dad watched, laughing at their antics.
Above, Sir WHIP circled, unseen by the grownups, because, well, they were grownups and couldn't see magical creatures like him. He thought swimming looked like fun, but water and fire-breathing dragons didn't mix well. So he watched over his family while they played, and wondered if Mom put the marshmallows in the pack, for him to toast to make s'mores later…
TD - 11/28/2015