Hey there, everyone, and welcome to a new story of mine. This is going to be series of short stories about two friends: a dog named Max and a cat named Leo. They'll be anthropomorphized, meaning that they'll wear clothes and whatnot, and they're named after two dogs that a babysitter of ours from Germany currently has.

Some inspiration came from Frog And Toad by Arnold Lobel, about two friends with some differences doing stuff together. And speaking of Arnold Lobel, this chapter is inspired by a story from Lobel's Fables, a story called The Cat And His Vision.

For the characters, here they are. Max is a golden retriever. He's outgoing, ready to try new things once in a while, and often leaps before he looks. Leo is a gray-and-white cat. He's calmer, a bit more conservative about how he does things, and is the thinker of the two. They live in the mountains and forests of the Appalachian mountains, and which state they live in where these forests and mountains are is all up to you.

Publishing Date: April 17, 2019

Enjoy!

...

Max's Fishy Vision

On a hot summer morning, Leo the cat decided to take a walk in the woods. He saw birds chirping and flying, bees and butterflies were fluttering, and some squirrels were looking for acorns to eat. Leo wanted to stop by the river and read a book on its banks.

As he made it to the riverbank, he noticed Max the dog sitting on the dirt. He was holding a fishing pole in his paws, and he gazed at the water with a determined look.

"What're you doing?" Leo asked, sitting down beside him.

"Fishing," declared Max, greeting him with a tail wag. "I'm gonna catch me a big fish! My vision told me so!"

"What vision?" asked Leo, his ears perked.

Max grinned. "Well, it came to me this morning. I was getting dressed when the vision came to me. I've seen a big trout sitting on a big fancy plate. I saw the trout covered in the best lemon juice and butter sauce. Heck, I even saw four slices of cornbread on the side."

"Sounds pretty tasty," said Leo. "If you'd like, I can help you catch this fish."

Max accepted, and the friends sat at the riverbank. They took turns managing the fishing pole, managing to keep it steady in case a big fish swam by. As they did this, they took the time to appreciate the nature all around them.

A few hours passed by, and the sun was already high in the sky. Leo's turn had been up, and he gave the pole to Max.

"I'm getting the vision again," Max suddenly said as he took the helm. "It's a slightly smaller fish this time, a smaller trout. It's still got some lemon juice and butter sauce, and there's three slices of cornbread."

"That vision of yours is making me hungry," said Leo, licking his lips. "I hope that fish comes by soon."

They sat for a little while more, the only animal in the water being a turtle. After another two hours of no fish, Leo gave the pole back to Max. By then, the sun was already high in the sky.

"The vision's back," said Max when he took up the pole. "But this time, the fish is smaller. Just a plump minnow, but it's still on a fancy plate. There's still some lemon juice and butter sauce, but it's more of several dabs. You know, like not enough ketchup from a ketchup bottle."

"Yeah, I get it," said Leo.

Max wagged his tail. "And there's two slices of cornbread. Not as much as before, but it's still enough for both of us."

Leo not only licked his lips, but he pawed at his whiskers. "You're going to have me drooling with all that talk," he teased. "I'm really hoping that fish of yours comes by very soon."

They sat for a while. Noon came and went, and it turned to the afternoon. And still, nothing was biting.

When Max took up the pole again, he declared, "I'm still getting the vision. It's a small minnow, even smaller than the last one. There's just sprinkles of lemon juice and butter sauce. And there's only one slice of cornbread."

"Now you're just torturing me," whined Leo, licking his chops again. "Is that fish of yours around here?"

"It should be," said Max.

Finally, the sun was starting to set. The birds were flocking to their trees to sleep for the evening. Max and Leo still kept their eye on the water, feeling very hungry now.

"Well," said Max after a while, "I'm getting a new vision now."

That didn't sound happy. Concerned, Leo asked, "What's the vision?"

"I see nothing," Max replied sadly. "I don't see a fish on a plate. Well, I see the plate, but no fish. No butter sauce, no lemon juice, no cornbread, not even a crumb."

"We're still at it," said Leo, trying to cheer him up. "I think we're bound to catch something."

"No, we haven't had a nibble for hours," said Max. "I usually don't give up, but I got my hopes up in getting that fish. Let's just go home."

Suddenly, as Max was about to let go of the pole, it started bobbing. The friends pulled on the line and eventually brought in a large fish. It wasn't a trout; instead, it was a much larger sturgeon. Delighted, Max and Sam picked it up together and took it home with them.

That night, they cooked the sturgeon and divided it amongst themselves, having as much butter sauce and lemon juice as they wanted. They even got some cornbread and got two slices each, just as the vision said. Max enjoyed each bite.

"Thanks for helping my vision come true," he told Leo. "And thanks for not giving up on me."

"You're my friend," replied Leo. "That's what friends are for. They help visions come true the best they can."