This is part of a series of quick sketches that I'm doing for character development, while I'm playing Dorothy in a local theater. I jotted it down today and thought I would share.

Dear Sheriff,

Mrs. Gulch stole my dog, Toto, and I feel it's only right that I should get to defend him. Toto is a good dog. He was a gift from my daddy. The day we buried Mother, we found him in a puddle beside the road. I picked him up, and daddy said someone would probably come looking for him. I took him home, and dried him off, and brushed him with my own hairbrush. He seemed to be listening to me and I told him what I couldn't tell anyone else. How much I missed Mama, and how I wished everyone downstairs would go home. The next morning, someone did come for Toto, but Daddy explained how fond I'd gotten of the dog, and how my mother just died from the measles. She got them worse than I did, because it always hits the grownups worse. Daddy asked if he could buy Toto for me, and they said yes. So he gave Toto to me, and that was the last thing he gave to me, because he died in a train crash on his trip the next week.

Toto is a good dog, and he doesn't mean to get into trouble. He likes to chase cats, but he's so small that he can't really hurt them. I usually look out for cats and mice too, because he does love to chase a mouse, and I pick him up when I see one. But I didn't see Mrs. Gulch's cat, and Toto squeezed between her fence. I called him, and ran as fast as I could to get into the gate, but before I got there, Mrs. Gulch was waving her garden rake around. The cat was up a tree and quite out of harm's way. But my poor Toto. Do you know what Mrs. Gulch did? I called that I would get the dog, and she brought her rake down with the pointy edges right onto Toto's back! He cried and cried, and she would have done it again and killed him if I hadn't snatched him up. He was bleeding, and I yelled at her, and asked her why she hit my dog.

She said he was a cat killer, and to keep him out of her garden, and that she was going to call you to come take care of him.

But he isn't a cat-killer. Her cat is perfectly fine. It's my poor little Toto that was hurt, and now he's taking all the blame for it.

Please don't kill my dog.

He's all I got left in the world – at least from my old life. I don't have anything else to remember my parents, by except my little dog. So I'll be stopping by tomorrow after school as soon as I can get there. It takes a long time to walk, you know. If I can just have Toto back, I promise you won't hear another problem about him or me. Ever.

Yours Truly,

Dorothy Gale

(From Kansas)

P.S. I'm going to bring a whole plate of homemade cookies. If you let me take Toto away, I'll let you have all of them. We don't have to tell anyone. I'll keep him hidden and no one will ever know.