Rosco the Rascal Goes to Camp

Ten-year-old James and his seven-year-old sister, Mandy are off to summer camp with their loyal German shepherd, Rosco. While Mandy struggles with homesickness, James's week is threatened by a prank-playing bunk mate's antics. But during an unexpected thunderstorm in a game of capture-the-flag, the prankster finds himself lost and alone deep inside the forest. Rosco must play the hero and save the boy but not before he teaches him a hard-earned lesson about friendship. Wholesome, adventurous, outdoor fun, this Rosco the Rascal tale brings the magic of summer camp to life.
*136 pages
*Recommended for ages 6-10

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8. Don't Fall For That

Rosco jumped to his feet in alarm. His ears had perked up when he’d heard Jeffrey’s sneering calls. He had seen the entire event from his spot in the shade. Izzy soon rose to the surface and swam to the edge of the pool, coughing and spitting water. She looked a bit stunned, but she wasn’t hurt.

Rosco hurried over as she reached the edge of the pool. Izzy climbed out, and then burst into tears.

“That boy! He made me fall!” she said.

“I saw him yelling at you and standing on the board on your turn!” Madison said. “What was he saying?

“He was telling me to hurry up! But I was too scared to jump right away! I didn’t want to be rushed,” Izzy said, sobbing.

Rosco listened as the girls grew more and more upset.

By this time, Jeffrey had cannonballed off of the diving board, making a huge splash. He swam to the edge, then climbed out of the pool and stuck out his tongue at Izzy. “Bet you won’t fall for that one again, ha? Get it, fall?”

A look of surprise came across her face. She couldn’t believe he was making a joke of it. “I was going to jump, but you made me fall! I’m telling on you,” she said.

Just then the lifeguard blew her whistle once more.

“Go ahead!” Jeffrey bragged. “I was only playing around. And you didn’t get hurt. It’s only water.”

At this, Rosco took a few steps toward Jeffrey and began to growl softly.

“Aw, not you again, mutt,” Jeffrey said. Rosco growled a little louder.

The lifeguard blew her whistle again, signaling to get Jeffrey’s attention. Jeffrey glanced up at her, sitting high on the lifeguard chair. She wasn’t smiling.

“Stay right here until your counselor gets here, young man. Girls, can you wait here too?”

“Yes, ma’am,” Natasha answered.

“Thank you.” The lifeguard returned to watching the kids in the pool. Rosco sat down and waited with the girls.

Mandy suddenly noticed that something unusual was going on with three of her cabinmates, her dog, and a boy from James’s cabin. She swam over to tell James, who was tossing a lightweight basketball into a poolside hoop with his friends. They quickly climbed out of the water and went to see what was happening.

The brother and sister pair walked up behind Rosco, just as Matt, one of James’s counselors, approached the group.

“That boy shook the diving board until I fell off,” Izzy explained.

Matt turned to Jeffrey with a stern look on his face. “Is this true?”

“Of course not,” Jeffrey answered.

One of the younger girls spoke up. “He’s lying. He did so.”

Rosco growled again, this time baring his teeth at Jeffrey.

“I was just standing there on the ladder, waiting my turn,” said Jeffrey. “She fell off.”

Now Rosco let out a quiet, angry bark. Jeffrey backed up a step. “What’s your dog’s problem? What’s he doing here, anyway?” Jeffrey said to James.

“He knows a lie when he hears one,” said Mandy.

Matt raised his eyebrows at this and gave Jeffrey another of his stern looks. “What really happened, Jeffrey? Did you shake the diving board until this young lady fell off? Because we have rules here, so if you. . .” Rosco stepped closer to Jeffrey and growled some more.

“Can’t you make the mutt stop?” he said to James.

“He won’t leave you alone until you tell the truth,” James told him.

“So what’s the truth, Jeffrey?” the counselor said.

“All right, all right! I might’ve bounced a little on the other end of the board, but I was just running out of patience. She was taking forever to jump! I didn’t know she would fall off!”

“Yes, you did,” Izzy said. “You kept bouncing until I fell off, and then you made a joke out of it when you got out of the pool. I could’ve gotten hurt.”

“Okay, I’ve heard enough,” said Matt. “Jeffrey, you can sit out for the next fifteen minutes. And I’m keeping my eye on you. The rule is, only one person on the diving board at a time, no matter how long it takes to jump.”

“Fine,” Jeffrey said sharply.

James turned to walk away, but stopped to give Jeffrey a warning. “You’d better pick on someone your own size next time. Leave my sister and her friends alone.”

Jeffrey shrugged his shoulders. “Whatever.” He walked to the corner of the pool yard and sat down, pouting.

Izzy reached over and petted Rosco’s soft head. “Your dog is the best, Mandy.”

Just then, Sheriff walked up. The old dog was getting sick and tired of watching Rosco become everyone’s favorite dog. He growled at Rosco, but Rosco understood what he meant. Stay out of their business, you show-off.

Rosco stared at Sheriff. He wasn’t showing off. He’d had to step in and keep that boy honest.

Maybe if Sheriff wasn’t so grouchy all the time, they’d want to pet him too. Rosco shook himself and returned to his shady spot under the tree. That old dog needed to lighten up.

James jumped in the pool and swam back to his friends.

“We’ve got to do something about Jeffrey,” James said. He’s causing trouble everywhere he goes. I’m afraid someone could get hurt if we don’t stop him soon.”

“But what can we do?” said Caleb, tossing the basketball to James. “He won’t listen to us when we try to talk sense into him. And he doesn’t listen to the counselors. He just takes his punishments and then makes more trouble later.”

James passed the ball to Mike. He took a shot at the hoop. The ball missed. Mike said, “Well, what if we try and include him in our group, so he doesn’t feel so left out? Then maybe he’ll stop all this.”

“That might work,” Caleb said. “I don’t know, though . . .” He retrieved the ball and passed it to James.

James aimed the ball and threw. “I guess it’s worth a shot,” he said. The ball circled the rim and plopped in.

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