Maxel was a beautiful cream and black colored German shepherd dog who belonged to the Abners’ closest neighbors, the Landauers. These people lived in the large front house of the estate on which the Abners also lived. A steel fence surrounded both houses and garden. Most of the time Maxel was tied to a chain in his dog house. He was a new addition to the estate and had come only a few days ago. Droozy immediately fell in love with him. Daily she went over to pet and talk to him. She was so sorry for the poor animal, as she believed he was lonely for his old master and furthermore was a prisoner here. Maxel showed his appreciation by licking Droozy’s hand and by barking softly and wagging his tail when she came near.

One evening Droozy came near Maxel’s house, when he crept toward her with his back lowered, his tail wagging and a wincing sound coming from his throat. He seemed to say: “Let me loose, let me loose, I want to be free.” The collar and chain appeared to be hurting his neck, especially as he strained to be near Droozy. The child stroked his back and said comforting words to him. She then cautiously looked around to see whether anyone was in sight. After a walk in the garden she found that the Landauers were playing cards on the patio, which was far removed from Maxel’s abode. Droozy tiptoed to the garden gate and opened it quietly. There was a faint creak as the steel door moved in its hinges. Droozy stood flat against the side and waited for someone to find her out. When no one appeared she completed the job. She walked over to Maxel, who stood up erect with his ears straight up in the air, as if expecting something. He was very quiet now, his tail scarcely wagging to and fro. Droozy fumbled to unleash the chain from the collar, and after what seemed like hours, she unhooked it. With one leap Maxel headed for the open gate and disappeared into the night.

The next morning Mr. Landauer knocked on the Abner door to ask whether they had seen his pet. He related how the gate had been left ajar, despite his instructions to the contrary. Droozy peered out from behind a chair and said not a word except to nod her sympathy. Several days passed and still Maxel did not return. One day a letter came in the mail from Maxel’s first owner, a farmer who had owned the dog since birth, stating that the animal had come back to them and Mr. Landauer was free to get him at his convenience. Mr. Landauer had to travel several hours by train to retrieve his lost hound.

When Maxel returned this time, at the hands of his master, he appeared much happier and more satisfied in his new home, especially since he no longer had to stay on a chain. He was permitted free run of the garden. He expressed his gratitude to Droozy by happily barking, wagging his tail and jumping up on her whenever he saw her. Those two shared a secret which no one would ever find out.

Pork Dumplings
Please Don't Eat the Goldfish
Pretty Shoes
Blueberry Cake
The Garden
The Red Rabbit
The Lost Bathing Tickets
What Shall I Do?  The Double Message
Pieces of Gold
Aromas of the Sabbath
The Birth of a Brother
Green Apples
Herr Kübler
The Broken Leg
Boarding School
The American Calendar
Suse Puppe
Shirley Temple Eyes
Kristallnacht Nov. 9, 10, 11
Aunt (Tante) Mathilde
Ice Skates
The Cologne Cathedral
The Escape
A Belgian Holiday
Gas Balloons and the S. S. Washington
The Statue
A Bad Dream
A Pencil Thief
The West Virginia Hills
Ice Cream, Grieben and Baked Spaghetti
The Gypsy’s Song
Venetian Blinds
The Deaf One
Dimmed Lights
Norma Mae
The Spelling Bee
Run, Thief, Run!
The Candy Store
The Birthday Party
Deep, Shallow Waters
Red Riding Hood
Small Mama
Droozy In Love
Eskimo Pies
Apple Picking Time
Working Days
Easter Baskets
Blind Joe
Lessons Learned From Parents
About the Author