Kids love pets. And when it comes to a children’s short story, kids love one that contains pets and a mystery. This story will have children laughing at the antics of Wally and Slippers — a dog and cat who barely like each other — as the two pets try to figure out where a missing cell phone is. It’s an enjoyable children’s short story that both kids and adults will read … time and again.
The Case of the Missing Cell Phone
(A Wally and Slippers Mystery)
Wally, the Scottish Terrier, watched Brent as he ran around the room, throwing pillows to the floor. Boys lose things sometimes. Lots of times, in fact. The dog blinked his brown eyes.
“Where’s my dumb cell phone?” Brent looked at the dog, huffed in frustration, and ran to the next room. He called out as he ran, “I can’t find it and I’m late for the bus.”
The dog wagged his black tail and followed close behind — he knew the boy wasn’t angry at him. Probably just worried because he couldn’t find the phone.
A loud, “Honnnnnk” sounded out front. “I’m coming,” Brent yelled, dashing out the door. “Just keep your shirt on!”
The house sat empty and quiet, except for the muffled sound of a phone ringing upstairs. Wally perked his ears at the sound and growled. The ringing stopped and he puffed out his chest with pride. I’m a great watchdog. I scared that phone until it shut up.
He stalked over to his blue plaid pillow, grabbed it in his teeth, and shook it until dust flew. Then he dropped it and pawed the thing into softness. Shutting up phones and beating up pillows is exhausting work. Think I’ll take a little nap.
And with that, Wally curled in a ball, and fell asleep. Later in the day, when Brent came home, Wally met him at the kitchen door.
In Japan, they speak Japanese. In China, they speak Chinese. Wally spoke Wally-ese. “Bark, bark!” he said, which really meant, “Let’s go play.” Sometimes it seemed to Wally that Brent almost understood Wally-ese.
“I can’t play right now,” Brent said, dropping his backpack on the brown tile floor. “I’ve got to figure out where I left my phone.” He picked up an apple from the counter. After wrapping it in red licorice, Brent covered it in peanut butter and started eating it.
Wally eyed the apple. Blech, that looks gross. Give me a raw steak, any day.
Brent bit off a piece and held it out. “Do you want a piece, Wally?”
It might look gross, but I’m a dog. I’ll try anything. Wally jumped up and down like a barking, hairy, super ball and Brent dropped a piece into the dog’s open mouth.
Brent scratched his freckled nose. “Dad’s going to be mad and ground me if I don’t find that cell phone. Where in the world did I put it?”
I know! Wally waggled his tail, but the boy didn’t see it. Maybe because Wally’s tail was shorter than some, but probably because the boy was busy chewing. Hey, look at me. I know where it is!
Brent pulled out another piece of licorice and gnawed on it.
Yoo-hoo. Can’t you hear? Then Wally remembered he had to speak Wally-ese for Brent to understand. “Rrrrrruff!”
“Hey Wally, that’s a great idea,” Brent said. “I’ll write down clues.”
The dog reached forward with his hind leg and scratched an ear. That’s not what ‘Rrrrrruff’ means. It means I know where the phone is.
He scratched his other ear, and just as he did, Slippers walked in. “Mew,” she said to him.
Wally threw her a look that could have skewered a hot dog at thirty paces. You know I don’t speak Slipper-ese.
The cat stared at him, her tail twitching. Well, you should learn!
Wally paced back and forth in front of her, daring her to argue. Dogs do not learn Slipper-ese!
Stuck up! She swatted at him, and then pussyfooted over to Brent.
Rubbing her dark face against his leg, she spoke to the boy. “Meorrwr.” It was Slipper-ese for, “I know where the phone is.”
The dog growled softly — just loud enough for Slippers to hear. I’m the one who knows where it is, not you. He pushed her a little with his paw.
The cat whipped her tail, and looked at him slyly, from the corners of her sapphire-blue eyes. I thought you didn’t speak Slipper-ese … so how come you know what I said?
Ummm, well, maybe I speak it just a little. Wally sat next to Brent and nudged the boy with his black nose. Ignore her. She’s the enemy.
But, of course, Brent could barely understand Walley-ese, and hadn’t a clue when it came to the other ways that animals conversed. He ignored both of them, and tapped his fingers on the table. “When did I use the phone last?” He tapped again. “Maybe it was two days ago. I’ll write that down.” He grabbed a sticky note and wrote on it.
Wally gazed into the distance, thinking. No, he called his mom at work yesterday, after —
After doing his homework, Slippers interrupted. She purred as she washed her paw with a prickly tongue.
Who asked you, Miss-Know-It-All? Wally growled and the fur bristled on his neck.
Takes one to know one, she hissed back.
Brent shook a finger at them. “No scratching, no fighting. Those are the house rules. I can’t think when you’re hassling each other.”
The dog’s tail drooped, and Slippers’ ears flicked sideways. Wally laid down, put his head on his paws, and looked at the cat. We shouldn’t argue.
She twitched her whiskers. Okay.
They both looked up at Brent. He stuck the sticky note to his nose and walked around the sunny kitchen, saying, “Think, think. Where did I use the phone?”
Wally gave a quick lick to the tile with his tongue — just to see if any tiny bits of food were there. Then he nodded at Slippers. Brent used the cell phone in his bedroom.
A soft purr vibrated in Slippers’ silky chest. Yes, lying on his bed, in the bedroom.
“I was in the backyard,” Brent stated. He pulled the sticky note off and wrote on it.
The two animals looked at each other and blinked in surprise. In the backyard? Wrong!
Brent snapped two fingers. “Duh! How could I forget? I remember pulling my socks off.” He wrote again and this time stuck the note on his forehead.
Well, one out of three ain’t bad. Slippers wrapped her soft body around Brent’s ankle. “Rumble, rumble,” she purred to him, which meant, “We love you, even though you do have the memory of a cookie crumb.”
Brent looked out the window. The red leaves on the maple tree shone in the sunlight. “I think I’ve solved it,” he said. “I used the phone two days ago, in the backyard, and stuffed it into a sock. Now all I have to do is go out there and find a dirty sock with a phone in it.”
Slippers licked a paw and swiped one of her ears clean in disgust. Ick, a dirty sock!
Wally rolled his eyes and gave a small snort of dismay. I think we’re going to have to go get it for him. He’ll be searching the backyard forever, since the phone is upstairs.
Do you know exactly where upstairs? I don’t think he left it on the bed. Slippers glided toward him, and even Wally had to admit she was beautiful. For a cat.
Then, a thought hit him. He cocked his head at Slippers and narrowed his eyes. I thought you said you knew where the phone was?
I do. I just wanted to see if you knew. She glared at him. Wally glared back, his hackles rising as he stepped to meet her head on.
Then, he sighed. We weren’t going to fight anymore … remember? He rolled onto his back as a peace offering, and Slippers rubbed her face against the side of his head.
Truce, she purred.
Wally got up, shook his fur, and bounced up the stairs to Brent’s room. I know the phone’s in here. I growled at it from downstairs and it shut up.
Slippers peeked around the door frame. Yes, but where in here? She slowly blinked at him, her eyes looking like blue lights being turned off and on.
The dog sat, his eyelids partly closed, and thought for a long time. Slippers chased a bug and batted at it until it ran under the bed and hid in a dust bunny. Then, she finally walked over and nudged Wally with her pink nose.
Hey! Dog! You asleep?
No, I’m solving the mystery. Wally scowled at her and wished she’d go find someone else to bother.
Looks to me like you’re snoozing. The cat looked at him, her eyes slightly crossed — no thanks to her Siamese ancestors.
Ignoring her remark, the dog got up and paced in circles three times. Then he stopped and nodded his head. We know Brent had the phone when he took his socks off. I can smell stinky socks, but I don’t see any. Where could they be?
They’re in the boy’s laundry basket. Slippers hooked her claws into the carpet and stretched as she said it.
The dog’s eyes widened until white showed around the edges. I’ll bet he threw the phone in there. Along with his socks.
Slippers purred. That’s smart thinking … especially for a dog. Then, she leaned over and started cleaning his ear.
Stop that; it tickles! Wally squirmed away. I can’t reach into the laundry basket, Slippers. It’s too tall. Can you hop inside?
That’s what cats do best. She boinged up like a spring and landed in the basket. The phone’s here — I can see it. She sounded like her head was stuffed into a smelly sock. What’ll we do? It’s too heavy and I can’t pick it up!
Just then, Wally spotted Brent’s baseball. He jumped on it, grabbed it in his teeth, then spat it out and chased it. He did it over and over again, his tail wagging the whole time.
Finally, Slippers peered over the edge of the basket, her ears flattened in displeasure. Wally stopped short, the ball still in his teeth. Right now, she hissed, is no time for playing fetch. How are we going to get the phone out?
Wally spat the ball out one last time, looked longingly at it and then, turned his attention to the cat. Rock the basket back and forth. When it falls over, I’ll grab the phone.
Wally backed up and waited. With a clunk, clunk, wham, the laundry basket tipped over.
The cat staggered out, her eyes rolling in circles. Woo-wee, what a ride!
Picking the phone up in his teeth, the dog started for the door. Come on, let’s take it to Brent. They ran side-by-side down the stairs and just as they got to the kitchen — RING!
Wally spat the phone out, and it clattered across the floor. “Bark, bark! Grrrrrrrrrr.” The black hair on the back of his neck stood up as he growled at the thing.
It stopped ringing as quickly as it had started, and the dog wagged his tail. See? Told you I could make it shut up.
The kitchen’s back door squeaked open. “Hey, look,” Brent said as he walked over and picked up the phone. “I found it. It’s been in the kitchen all along.”
He found it? Slippers and Wally looked at each other, and then looked at the boy. Brent reached over, scratched the dog behind the ear with one hand, and stroked the cat’s soft fur with the other. They both sighed contentedly.
Wally leaned over, gave Brent a lick on the hand, and then looked at Slippers. People! They’re usually wrong, but we still love ’em.
Yes, people! Slippers purred, the rumble coming from deep within her chest. Where would they be without cats?
More children’s short stories from this author:
Short Stories: Children’s Short Story that Features Vegetables as the Main Characters
Stories for Kids: A Story for Kids That’s Set in Winter Time, “There’s No Best Time of Year”
A Children’s Fictional Short Story About a French Lop Rabbit that Jumps Out of His Hutch and into Danger