The Mayor of Who-ville
Had only one son
Who had only one wish
But can it be done?
It all started with one simple birthday wish.
"Dad…I want a dog."
Ned had never been asked anything of Jojo. No who-phone, no who-pod, no who-board. Nothing. Every birthday Sally and he would desperately ask themselves what their oldest would want, getting him things they know he didn't need.
But when Jojo asked his dad the day before his birthday that he wanted a dog, Ned's worst fears were finally presented to him on a silver platter.
"But Sally, you know how I feel about…about…"Ned couldn't even choke out the words as they walked into The Who-pound.
"Dogs, dear?" Sally responded.
Yes, it was true. Ned hated dogs. No, not hate. Loathed dogs. Every type of dog. From the tallest hound to the smallest pooch, he wanted nothing to do with them.
"But we already have a pet!" Ned cried as they walked down the Who-hall of Dogs.
"Dear, you have a goldfish that is never at home." Sally placed her hand on his shoulder. "Jojo needs a dog, Ned. It might bring him out of his shell. He needs one to run around the yard and to take responsibility. It'll do him good."
Those…things...with their long wet tongues and smelly smells.
"This one seems nice," Sally said, placing her hand up to a shaggy dog's nose.
Ned never told anyone, but the truth was he didn't hate dogs. In fact, he used to love dogs. He was actually afraid of them. Yes, it was even more true that the mayor of Who-ville was frighten down to his bones of dogs.
It all started when he was six and went to stay with his great-aunt. She was a bitter old woman with long gray hair and an angry stare. But that was alright, she mostly slept. She had a bulldog named Booboo, though, and he was not so alright. He growled whenever Ned moved and drooled up a pond where he sat. It took only one wrong trip that caused Booboo to finally attack him. Ned was dragged throughout the house by his arm, finally being let go when his aunt hit Booboo with her cane.
Every dog in the Who-pound reminded him of cursed Booboo. Every dog had those drooping jowls and watery eyes, all staring at him, waiting to get another bite.
"Ned," Sally said. "We've seen every dog in here. We need to pick one."
Ned couldn't hold back any longer. So he closed his eyes and pointed. When he managed to crack open one eye he found he had chose a very small dog, shaved in such a way that only his head, feet, and the tip of his tail had fur. The dog had black and gray stripes and was hiding in the corner, shaking like a leaf.
"He seems nice," Sally whispered.
The minute walk home seemed longer than usual.
Ned hid himself in the study while Sally and his 96 daughters decorated the living room and made a quick box with holes for Jojo's present. Ned busied himself with mowing the roof when Jojo came home from the library. Ned retiled their one bathroom while the kids played 'Pin the moustache on the Lorax.' But he couldn't stay away any longer when he heard everyone scramble to the kitchen for cake, ice cream, and…the present.
"Ned!" Sally hissed when he slowly walked into the kitchen, "Where have you been?"
Ned sighed. "Just chores."
"Alright, dear." Sally gave him a forced smile. "Now, everyone, time for Jojo's big surpise!"
Two of his beautiful daughters, Henna and Hattie, came in through the garage door with a gray and blue box of horror. Ned backed up into the wall when it was placed at Jojo's feet.
"Aw, Dad." Jojo smiled at the box before smiling at Ned. "Is it really?"
Ned's heart swelled but his mind was drowning in memories.
"Well…son." Ned swallowed quite hard. "You'll just have to open it and find out."
Jojo's tore through the paper and gasped when he saw his gift. The little pup jumped out of the box and pounced at his chest. Ned's fatherly alarm triggered.
'That beast is going to hurt my boy!' Ned was about to take action when the little thing started to lick his son's face.
"Dad," Jojo laughed, "I love him! He's just what I wanted."
And that was when Ned saw that dog in a whole new light. Maybe the thing wasn't so bad…maybe this pup would be good for his son?
"Yes, Jojo." Ned stood up a little straighter and places his hand on his mayoral crest. "I knew you'd like. Every boy needs a dog," Then whispering in his son's ear, "It took a bit of convincing your mother, though."
Sally rolled her eyes, as Ned put his arm around her. Jojo smiled, and hugged his new friend.
So the son of the Mayor
Finally got his wish
Because everyone knows a dog
Is better than a fish