“You’ll see, son.”
“Oh Devlin, wait till you...” but Jess took her hand just as Devlin’s grandmother was about to give the secret away.
“Shush,” he said. “Go on now, Devlin. Go see.”
Devlin Underwood could not believe his eyes. Out in an old cardboard box sitting up on a faded pink towel was the most perfect little puppy he had ever seen. It barked at him, immediately, and jumped up on the side of the box as if it knew Devlin.
“Look at you,” he said.
It didn’t take a second until the pup was in Devlin’s arms wriggling and squirming and licking his face and doing everything that puppies do when they are little like that. It was licking Devlin’s chin!
His grandparents hadn’t been able to wait in the kitchen because they were so excited — just to see the expression on Devlin’s face. They stood there just watching him and the little puppy.
“Well, son, you’d best be thinking up a name for that little fellow, don’t you think?”
“Oh, thank you. Thank you,” Devlin said, just grinning.
“I could never have a puppy in the city.”
“Well you can now,” Jess said.
“Labradors love the beach.”
“You can teach him to swim with you, Dev.”
Devlin spent hours with the puppy after that, just stroking him. It seemed like he was the softest little thing in the world. Or the cutest little thing in the world. What am I going to name him? Devlin thought. What am I going to call him?
The puppy was chewing on the collar of his plaid shirt!
“You little devil,” he said. “You are just a total devil.”
“He’s going to be a handful, son.”
“The best kind of handful.”
“Oh thank you, grandpa” Devlin said. “I love him already.”
“I don’t even know what to call him.”
“It’ll come to you, Dev,” his grandfather said, smiling.
“Did I ever tell you about my first dog?”
“No, grandpa, I don’t think you ever did.”
“I don’t think there ever was a better friend than old Tobias.”
“Was that his name?”
“My dad got him for me when I was about your age.”
“I called him Toby for short.”
“It’ll come to you Devlin. Maybe by tonight, son.”
Devlin just hugged the little puppy tightly to his chest. The little chocolatey looking dog was already bonded to Devlin. It only takes a minute, between a child and their first animal, doesn’t it? That night when Devlin Underwood went to sleep he had the puppy in his arms. The last thing he remembered as he drifted off to sleep was the warmth of the pup curled against his chest.
“Wait til Teenie sees you,” he’d whispered. “Just wait.”
Teenie let herself through the gate at Mr. Honeygarten’s really fast. Melloman was sleeping on the porch, but when he saw her he wagged his tail about a million miles an hour. Teenie threw her arms around his neck and hugged him tightly.
“Wait til I tell Mr. Honeygarten about Devlin,” she whispered.
“Look what he gave me, Melloman.”
Teenie pulled the little rose out of her pocket to show him.
“I met a boy, Melloman.”
“I met the cutest boy.”
She knocked softly at the door and called out “Mr. Honeygarten can I come in?”
“Yes, my dear, of course.”
Mr. Honeygarten had been thinking of the young man that Teenie had told him about since that first day she’d blushed. He had been planning to tell her about Claire since that very day, and he had gone over all his memories to try and recall the very first day he’d seen Claire. Now that Teenie was here, he was prepared.
“Would you like a cup of tea, my dear?”
“I’m afraid I haven’t got any of those special teacakes but I might have some cookies, about.”
“Oh my, what a lovely rosebud that is,” he said, catching sight of it in Teenie’s hand.
“A boy gave it to me.”
“His name is Devlin,” she said shyly, handing the flower to Mr. Honeygarten.
“It’s a little like your roses.”
“That it is, Teenie.”
“That it is.”
Teenie went to Mr. Honeygarten’s special cabinet and took out the little tea set, and Claire’s delicate tiny spoons.
“These are so beautiful, Mr. Honeygarten," she said, carefully laying them all out in a row. Today she chose the one with the tiny fairy on it. The fairy’s face seemed to peek out of a tulip at her. “Which spoon would you like?” Teenie asked him.
|Robert Duvall||as Mr. Honeygarten|
|Jeff Bridges||as Grandpa Jess|
|Goldie Hawn||as Devlin's Grandma|
|Geena Davis||as Teenie's mom|