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Favourite Friends


This is a true story, written for children but I hope you will enjoy it too.

The picture below was painted with a light layer of basic colours in watercolour and finished in coloured pencil and the story came pretty close behind.

Once upon a time,  in a sleepy little town called Appleton, there was born  a soft and furry little Golden Retriever called Chino. Chino had six brothers and sisters when he was born and they all grew very fast. They frolicked, they ate, slept and played in the first six weeks of their lives,  they became very good friends.

When Chino was six weeks old he was taken  to his forever home with a special couple who loved the little guy and treated him  with special care and affection. Chino’s new home was  like a paradise on earth, a loving place with  a spacious and  green  back yard for him to romp and run to his heart’s content.

There were many nice gardens, they were well kept and colourful, but the most interesting part of the garden to Chino, was a small pond that had a large  waterfall with   soothing sounds of trickling waters. This little fluffy pup was totally fascinated with the sounds and sights of the pond. He liked the many rocks around it and the pink lilies  floating on the water.

Little did Chino know at the time that  there was a very smart and brilliantly coloured little fish named “Falstaff” that lived in this lovely little lake. Falstaff enjoyed swimming in the cool azure waters all day!!…..every day!!! He was especially thrilled when the visitors would come down to his home and were clearly impressed and raved about its beauty. He was proud of it all. There were the rocks of many colours, the pink  lilies and the special secret spots to play in. Falstaff loved his private little space.

One sunny day, when Falstaff  was swimming through, he looked up into  the clear blue water and  wondered what he was seeing . He  couldn’t believe his eyes, he had never seen such a sight before….What was this strange animal with a very large nose poking into his water..  Chino, this  fluffy little bundle of golden fur, was playing with the waterlilies. To Falstaff he was humongous, and  he suddenly felt he must defend his home.  Fearlessly he swam to the top, popped his head out of the water and  startled Chino, who  jumped so high he fell hard on his little bottom on the rocks. Ouch!.  Chino, however, recovered quickly and wanting to see what had just attacked him, was back with his nose to the water, when up popped  the little fish again.

For a long moment both pup and fish stared eye to eye, totally amazed at what they saw…..they  seemed to be paralyzed…. was this friend or foe?… stay or go…both wondering what might happen.  Falstaff couldn’t tell and for that matter neither could the pup. So they each stood their ground.

The natural instinct of the golden retriever would be to grab this little treasure and run.  Right? ….but not Chino….I’d say  he needed a friend. The gentleness of the dog and the playfulness of the fish was amazing to watch. Over the years, they would eventually became the best of friends from that incredible  moment on!

Each day Chino comes to the pond to check on his little buddy. The little fish waits patiently and up he pops to greet him when he sees him there.   The respect they felt  for each other  seemed to surpass all other boundaries.

Chino is now fully grown. His beautiful blonde fur glistens like gold in the bright sunlight. Still as curious and playful as ever though and ….Falstaff…? well he swims around in his little underground realm until he sees his best friend come into view and …POP…his tiny nose comes up to meet Chino’s……. Still buddies…and  the best of friends.

Makes me wonder ….why… .if two  such different species can become best friends, show respect, and favour for one  another, …   why can’t we as the highest species known, do the same? Makes me wonder!

Painting and story by Pat Mitchell. Copyright August 6th/2013. revised August 27th/2020.

and story

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