Rosco the Rascal at the St. Patrick's Day Parade

This time it's not Rosco who's been making mischief - it's the leprechauns! Rosco and his new friend, Sparks, are marching in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade accompanied by Rosco's owners, brother and sister, James and Mandy. But Mandy thinks the leprechauns have jinxed her with bad luck, so when Sparks goes missing, what will it take for Rosco and the kids to find him? And will Mandy be able to restore her good luck, or will the leprechauns ruin her St. Patrick's Day?


2. James, We Have a Problem

Sparks was the Bentons' pet pug. Mr. and Mrs. Benton, a retired couple who had moved in next door to the McKendricks, had generously allowed Sparks to join them for this special occasion, so that Mandy and James would each have a dog to walk in the parade.

The dressed up dogs were always a big favorite of the downtown St. Patrick's Day Parade crowd, and before the run-in with the nasty terrier, Mandy had been enjoying the festive atmosphere. People had smiled and waved at her, exclaiming at the adorable costumed dogs.

Mandy wore her green Pinch Me, I'm Irish T- shirt. Her long, brown hair was held back with a green ponytail holder, and a headband with sparkly green shamrocks clung to her head.

Mandy's ten-year-old brother, James, wore a green and white button-up shirt and a goofy top hat. A fifth-grader with red hair and freckles, James was about as Irish-looking as any American-born boy could be. He enjoyed watching the St. Patrick's Day Parade every year and thought it would be fun to march in it this year.

James held the leash of their large, friendly German shepherd, Rosco, and grinned at the attention from the crowd as he and Rosco walked the parade route.

Because of the large number of people and dogs in the parade, James and Mandy had become slightly separated from one another. Mandy slowed down to let Rosco and her brother catch up.

"Oh, my gosh! James, did you see what just happened?"

"No. What happened? Where's Sparks?"

"Uh, we have a problem—a big problem." Mandy explained the run-in with the terrier and Sparks' disappearance.

"Are you serious?" James's eyes grew wide as he slowed down to take in her news.

A few other dog-walkers quickly overtook them, so he picked up his pace again, rather than trip over a tangle of leashes.

"Yes, I'm serious. He's gone!" Mandy said. "He was really scared of that dog, and, I guess...I don't know—he just ran away! I went after him, but...well, I lost him!"

James looked up at the tall buildings and the crowds of people everywhere. "Oh, man. This is not good."

Mandy bit her lip. "I know! And this is just my luck. I knew something like this would happen. If only I would've just done the school project, then all this bad stuff might not have happened."

"Don't start that again. This has nothing to do with you refusing to make a leprechaun trap."

"You don't know that," Mandy said. "I've had so much bad luck since I decided not to make one. I'm sure the leprechauns jinxed me—it's been like this all week!"

"Well, who knows? Maybe. But you've got to stop blaming all of this on that project."

"Alright, James. Fine," Mandy said. "But what are we going to do about Sparks? Can you just help me? We've got to start looking for him."

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