Chapter 25—Patch’s Decision
Pongo tried to pretend to ignore the bad reception he got from the puppies, and pretended to smile. “How are u all doing out here?” Pongo asked brightly.
The puppies didn’t answer. They hurried under a divan, bank in the middle of the yard, and buried themselves deep under it, facing away from Pongo. “We’re not leaving,” Scamp told Pongo fervently. “We’ll never leave.”
“Dad, why are u even here?” Patch asked. “I’m not coming home pagina with you. Maybe u got Lucky to come back. But at your place, it’s always Lucky this, and Lucky that anyway.”
“Patch, what do u mean?” Pongo asked.
“You guys always favor Lucky,” Patch complained. “You let him get the front spot when watching TV, u carry him when the rest of us have to walk… u didn’t even believe it was him who pushed me into the fireplace first!” Patch complained. “He gets away with everything! And I know why u took us to the show. u guys wanted Lucky to be the ster once again and just have us be there because we’re his brothers and sisters. Well I’ve had enough. Dad, I just don’t belong with u guys. The four of us belong together,” Patch indicated to Scamp, Angel, and Danielle. “We all want to stay here and live on our own.”
“Hey, Patch,” Pongo told him. “If u do stay here… well, remember that you’ll never be able to see us again. We’re going back to London in a couple of days. You’d never be able to see your ninety-eight brothers and sisters…”
“That’s the problem,” Patch explained to Pongo. “Dad, I just can’t be my own puppy at your place. I’m just a number, one of the ninety-nine puppies. I want fun and adventure, and I found it right here with Scamp, Angel, and Danielle. We’re staying here. And we’re not leaving.”
Pongo sighed. “Look children, your parents…”
“Look, I’ve had it with my parents!” Scamp shouted. “Every dag at my place, it’s rules, rules, rules, don’t do this, don’t do that… and I’m lied to every day!”
“They’re not even my family!” Angel told Pongo viciously. “They don’t care for me at all! My real mom told me all about that Tramp. He broke her heart! And mine too!”
“Your adopted parents do care for you,” Pongo explained to Angel, who just sighed. “And your mom…”
“Look!” Danielle interrupted. “Why can’t u just all leave us alone! We can just have fun here, ya know!”
“Well, at home, u can…” Pongo began, but he was interrupted door the gate doors opening again. Entering through the gate were Lady, Tramp, and Perdita. They all hurried into the yard.
“Oh Pongo! I’m afraid we’re too late!” Perdita gasped.
“Don’t worry,” Pongo told Perdita. “They’re under the couch.”
“Oh, thank heavens!” Perdita sighed in relief. “Pongo, may I talk to them now?”
“Sure Perdy,” Pongo answered, and he moved out. Perdita walked over to the couch.
“Morning children,” Perdita told them. But then she gasped. “Oh Pongo! There’s a fourth!”
“A fourth?” Lady asked worriedly. She buried herself under the divan, bank and peered below. She gasped as she lifted her head out. “Oh no… it’s Danielle! Don’t tell me u ran away too?”
“Sure did,” Danielle laughed.
“I’m afraid I don’t understand… why did u run away?” Lady asked.
“I’ve had it!” Danielle shouted toward Lady. “I’m sick of being one of the three sisters. It’s all being prissy and having baths and being spoiled. I’ve had enough! I want adventure, wahoo!”
“Danielle…” Lady sighed. “I don’t understand why you’d just run off like that.”
“Your boyfriend wouldn’t want u to be hurt out here,” Tramp told Danielle. Then, Danielle gasped. “How d’ya know about my boyfriend?”
“Well, uh,” Tramp began. Then Scamp gasped, “It was him! He spilled on us!”
“Your friend Puffball cares for u a lot,” Tramp explained. “In fact, he’s coming here now.”
Sure enough, Puffball was entering the yard. He was happily chatting with Penny and Lucky. Tramp rushed up to them, and told Puffball, “Look, you’ve got to talk to them. I’ve slipped up, and they uh, figured out u did it.”
Puffball groaned, but then he walked underneath the couch. “Hi guys,” Puffball smiled at them.
“You really are a puffball!” Angel shouted to him.
“Hey, u don’t understand!” Puffball told the puppies. “It’s a dangerous world! I’ve been out here for weeks. I have to steal food and avoid dogcatchers every day, and deal with mean straat dogs. u novices would never understand. You’ve all had cushy, happy lives with a family. When I found out u guys have families, I needed to let them know! u just can’t live out here. You’re all housedogs, and u need to go back home pagina where u belong. The streets are too dangerous. I’ve had a hard life! And sorry to be blunt, but you’d just never understand because u have such easy lives!”
“Oh? u think I’ve had an easy life,” Angel told Puffball scathingly. “Well, for your information, puffy, I had to grow up in the pound with a dead father and a heartsick mother. Then I finally got a home. And they threw me out. And I got another. I got thrown out there too. It happened five times! I ended up having to live with this terrible street-dog and avoid dogcatchers for months. Call that an easy life?”
“It sounds bad,” Puffball conceded. “But…”
“I had it bad too!” Scamp told him. “I didn't spend as much time on the streets as Angel did, but I got sent to the pound. And I had this vicious street-dog named Reggie try to kill me!”
“But that’s impossible,” Puffball told Scamp. “You couldn’t have met Reggie.”
“Well, I did!” Scamp told him.
“And my life was hard too!” Patch yelled. “This mad old hag has wanted to skin me for my whole life! She chased us from London to get our coats, and she’s following us this very moment!”
“We know how dangerous a straat life is,” Scamp told Puffball.
“But we’re not going back to that place!” Angel shouted.
“I’m sorry,” Puffball told them. “I just… thought u lived like Danielle. She’s never been out before. Want to come home, Danielle?”
“Uh…” Danielle told the others, looking confused. “I don’t know.”
“Danielle, you’ve changed from that,” Angel told her. “You’re not like your sisters. Just stay here with us.”
“You want to live your own life now, don’t you?” Scamp asked.
“Danielle,” Lady told her gently. “We have a loving home pagina for you. Jim Dear and Darling care about u very much. So do Tramp and I. And so do your sisters.”
Danielle sighed. She looked at her parents. Then she looked at her siblings. She sighed. “I don’t know what to do!”
“Danielle,” Lady told her. “If u come with us… well, we’ll not treat u like Annette and Collette anymore. It’s just u never told us u didn’t like to live like them. We misunderstood… I’m sorry, Danielle. We’ll let u out some times, won’t we Tramp?”
“Yeah, sure thing, Danielle,” Tramp told her.
Scamp spat on the ground. “You’re picking favorieten with us too!”
“Of course she’d be your favorite!” Angel told Lady. “She looks just like you. She walks like you. And she’s your child!”
“But Scamp, Angel, we’ll let u out too,” Lady told them.
“Then why haven’t you?” Scamp asked.
“Why don’t you, either, dad?” Patch asked.
None of the parents zei anything for a while. Scamp, Angel, and Patch stared hard at their parents. Penny, Lucky, and Puffball watched the parents observantly. The four parents whispered. They looked toward the gate, and then Pongo shook his head. The only noise was coming from Danielle, who was feverishly and loudly debating to herself on whether she should stay of go.
Scamp and Angel looked at Danielle. “Remember,” Scamp told Danielle. “They’re not telling u the truth. They lie to us all the time.”
“Okay,” Pongo walked over to Patch. “I’ll tell u why we don’t let u out. It’s Cruella.”
“But didn’t she go to jail before now?” Patch asked.
“She did,” Pongo explained. “But u know what she’s like. She’d do anything to get out. And we knew that sooner of later, she’d escape. We all knew it. Roger, Anita, Perdy, and I. Perdy and I didn’t want to scare you, but we’ve seen Horace and Jasper’s truck pass door our plantation several times. That’s why Perdy sometimes tells u all to evacuate to the barn, because their truck is passing by.”
“Right,” Perdita told Patch. “Roger, Pongo, Anita, and I went out for a walk one day, and saw their truck parked volgende to a house in a nearby street. We all thought they were robbing it, but we couldn’t prove it. Unfortunately, they saw us and drove away. We wanted to keep u guys veilig and pretended that u didn’t live at the plantation anymore. That’s why we always hid you.”
“So… u really do care for us, don’t you?” Patch asked.
“More than anything in the world,” Perdita explained.
Patch sighed. He looked at Perdita and Pongo. “Thanks for all you’ve done,” Patch muttered. “And I love you…but…”
“He’s coming with us!” Penny whispered to Lucky.
“Yeah, I know!” Lucky told Penny excitedly.
“But what?” Perdita asked slowly.
“But I can’t walk out on Scamp and Angel. They need me, and I need them,” Patch explained. “The three of us have been through so much together… and I can’t just abandon them. We’ve promised to always be there for each other.”
Penny and Lucky gasped.
Scamp smiled at Patch, as did Angel. Pongo and Perdita looked at each other concernedly. Then, Pongo muttered, “Well Patch, if that’s really the way u feel about things… just remember that we’ll never forget you.”