Hey there, and welcome back to the Max and Leo story. It's been a long time since I've worked on this story (a whole year, in fact!), and I had a lot of other stuff on my hands during that time. But I've decided to try some more chapters. And since today's the last day of summer, I decided to make this chapter, based on another Frog And Toad story.
There was an error that I found in a previous chapter that I've corrected, concerning Memorial Day. That's a mistake I won't make again.
Uploading Date: September 21, 2020
To Scream For Ice Cream
A hot midsummer's day was boiling over the Appalachian Mountains. Max and Leo were out by the river, trying to keep cool by swimming and staying more in the shade. They even brought paper fans to wave over themselves to keep the heat away.
But this day was a heat wave, causing the weather to be scorching and miserable. So the two friends decided to go inside and cool off, unable to stand outside much longer. When they got to Max's house and went inside, Max collapsed into a chair, panting as they enjoyed the air conditioner.
"You okay, Max?" Leo asked with concern, filling two glasses with water and ice cubes.
"Yeah, I'm fine," panted Max while he turned on the TV. "It's a scorcher out there! I'll turn on the weather and see when this heat wave will be gone."
"Maybe something cool and nice can do the trick," muttered Leo. "Why not have some ice cream?"
Max perked up, tail wagging. "Hey, that's not a bad idea," he barked, looking a little more cheerful at this. "We can go get some."
"No, you stay here and cool off," meowed Leo, sitting Max down in his armchair. "I'll run to town and get us some ice cream."
So Leo set out on his own, heading towards town. It wasn't a long walk to town, but on a hot summer day, it was bound to make one tired very fast. Fortunately, he had remembered to bring a water bottle along so that he could keep cool along the way.
Leo walked on and on until he reached the ice cream parlor just on the edge of town. He went into the parlor and bought two ice cream cones. One was chocolate with peanut butter bits, which was Max's favorite; the other was vanilla, which was Leo's favorite. He had them wrapped in napkins and started to walk away from the parlor. But he suddenly stumbled as he reached a stop sign, and he dropped the chocolate cone. Leo felt terrible about this.
So he went back inside and ordered another chocolate cone for Max. The person running the parlor looked surprised at Leo suddenly reappearing, but she did make another cone. Leo paid for the ice cream and walked back outside, wrapping the cones in napkins. He had arrived at the stop sign and was carefully walking the street when a car zoomed just by him and honked. Leo yelped and dropped the vanilla cone on the street.
"Hey, watch it!" yowled Leo, shaking a paw at the driver. The driver paid no attention and sped away.
For the third time, he went back inside and bought another vanilla cone. This time, he would be sure to avoid any incoming cars and look where he was going so that he would not drop them. So far, he had done well in spite of the melting ice cream.
But shortly before Leo could reach Max's house, he jumped out of the way as a toad went hopping along the path. He struggled to keep the two cones off of the ground, but he tumbled over a fallen log. The ice cream cones ended up landing on the top of his head, staining his fur and clothes with ice cream and peanut butter bits.
Back at Max's house, Max had gotten better after cooling down. He decided to go out onto the front porch and wait for Leo to come back with the ice cream.
He had just sat down on his rocking chair when birds were fluttering above him, twittering and laughing. As a cardinal landed, Max asked, "What's all the ruckus about? What's so funny?"
"Have you ever seen a two-horned cat before?" chortled the cardinal. "You gotta check it out!"
"We'll show you if you'd like," added a bluebird. "Follow us!"
So Max ran after the birds. Along the way, he saw other animals either looking disturbed or chortling to themselves, their shoulders shaking with laughter. Whatever had happened must be the talk of the forest and mountains by now.
Then, as he got to the ditch near the road, he caught sight of the "creature", which had pulled itself over a fallen log. It was brown and white, with long cone-like horns on its head. To Max's bewilderment, the creature was also coated in what looked like peanut butter bits.
"Hey Max," the "creature" muttered gloomily. "I'm back with the ice cream...on my head."
Max plucked off one of the "horns" - an ice cream cone - and cleared away the mess. Leo was looking up at him, defeated.
"Hey buddy," said Max. "Is this why you too long to come back?"
"Yeah," muttered Leo, helping Max wipe away the rest of the ice cream from his face. "When I got into the parlor, I bought two cones: a chocolate one for you with peanut butter bits and a vanilla one for me. I dropped yours by accident in a puddle, so I got you another one. I dropped mine when a car zoomed by, and I got another. Then there were birds that wanted the ice cream, and I ran until I tripped and got the ice cream all over me. What a mess!"
Max smiled at him. "Hey, you did your best with that. That's what matters." He thought a bit and then said, "We can go down to the parlor together. We can eat the ice cream there and then head back home."
Leo smiled back. "That sounds like a better idea than mine."
Once Leo was done with his shower, the two friends headed out to town and back to the ice cream parlor. Max paid for the ice cream this time: a chocolate cone with peanut butter bits for himself and a vanilla one for Leo. They sat together at a shaded table outside the parlor and ate the ice cream together.