Chris Peterson contacted me and said he had a 9-year-old daughter who liked Astro Boy, puppies, horses, dinosaurs, and possibly her father (as he phrased it). Instead of taking one element from there, I attempted to use all of them.
To make this inaugural effort even better, Chris did a drawing to go along with the story after it was done. It became an even more collaborative experience. (Chris also writes about it on his blog.)
So, here is his drawing, and the story immediately after:
In the very near future there lived a little girl named Emma, and like most girls do today, Emma had a puppy that she loved very much. The puppy’s name was Cosmo and he was known to get into things puppies shouldn’t otherwise get into. This was why one day he climbed into a rocketship that was just about to depart for a colony on Mars. Before Emma could tell anyone Cosmo had stowed away, he was gone, off to the stars, most likely to join some family on the next planet over.
Emma’s father was a very famous scientist who had much success in robotics, and when he saw how sad losing Cosmo made his daughter, the man decided to use all his brainpower and technology to build her a new dog, just like the one she had lost. He labored day and night to create an artificial puppy, a little metal dog that would be the new Cosmo and Emma’s new friend.
When Emma saw the robotic canine, she was unsure at first, surprised by its smooth corners and shiny surface. But when the new Cosmo lowered itself on its front legs and wiggled its tail and barked twice at his intended owner, the girl’s doubts melted and she scooped robot Cosmo up in her arms and hugged it like there had never been another puppy of any kind before it. Excited by the affection, Cosmo unexpectedly showed off its unique features. Little engines ignited in its four paws, and it flew from Emma’s hands. The girl laughed as she chased it around the room, leaping and grabbing at her special pet. Then the dog did a turnaround in mid-air and started chasing Emma instead. More laughter followed.
The scientist was pleased to see his invention had worked. As he spoke, there was a faint glistening of tears on the edge of his eyes. “Do you like your new dog then?” he asked.
“Oh, yes, daddy, very much,” the girl answered. “I had no idea robots could be such fun, too.”
“That’s good,” the man said. “This is what daddy does for a living, and he’s glad he could do it for you.”
Emma’s face lit up. “Really? You mean you build stuff like this all the time?” When the man answered that he did, the girl said, “Oooooh. Can you build a pony for me next? And then a dinosaur? Yessss, let’s have a robot dinosaur!”
The man was unable to deny his daughter anything. A kind of fear gripped him, however, as he began to contemplate the storage issues. While Emma and Cosmo ran out into the backyard, the scientist returned to his lab, where he was greeted by a chorus of barks. Twenty robot dogs saying hello in unison.
You see, he worried that this new Cosmo could go missing like the old one had, and he wanted to be prepared. Having extra dogs on hand meant he would never have to see Emma cry over a lost puppy again. His head hurt just formulating the question: where would he keep all the extra ponies, much less the replacement dinosaurs?
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Current Soundtrack: Best Coast, The Only Place
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All text (c) 2012 Jamie S. Rich