Carl and Cupcake

Tiffany Sapp
NARRATOR: Once upon a time, there was a golden retriever named Carl, and he was a very good boy.
CARL: I am! Ever since I was a pup, my mom taught me the golden rule: “do to others as you would have them do to you.” Whenever I didn’t know how to treat my siblings in my litter, I would just think about how I wanted to be treated, and do that!
NARRATOR: He was friends with a Persian cat named Cupcake, and she tolerated him, as cats do.
CUPCAKE: Carl, what are you doing today while the food givers are at work?
CARL: Today is random act of kindness day, and I’m going to do randomly kind things for all of our roommates!
CUPCAKE: That sounds… interesting. Who are you going to start with?
CARL: I’m going to give Genie one of my bones!
CUPCAKE: You’re going to give Genie… the rabbit… one of your bones?
CARL: Oh yeah! Bones are my favorite treat! She’ll love it!
NARRATOR: And off he went before Cupcake could say another word.
CUPCAKE: (rolling eyes) Dogs…
NARRATOR: Some time later, Carl came back, dejected.
CUPCAKE: What’s wrong Carl?
CARL: Genie didn’t like the bone at all. She even thumped her feet at me she was so mad.
CUPCAKE: I wonder why?
CARL: It’s a great mystery! I guess she’s just in a bad mood. I always love bones.
CUPCAKE: Maybe treats aren’t the best vehicle for cross-species bonding?
CARL: Maybe you’re right. I’ll try a toy next. I’m going to give Scales my very best tennis ball. It’s going to be hard to part with it since I love it so much, but it would be worth it to make Scales happy!
CUPCAKE: Scales… the snake?
CARL: Oh yeah! I can’t wait to run and play with Scales, he’ll just love chasing after the ball.
CUPCAKE: Carl, how is Scales going to chase the ball?
CARL: Well, with his legs!
CUPCAKE: His legs.
(CARL smiles and nods)
CUPCAKE: His. Legs. Carl??
CARL: (confused about why Cupcake isn’t getting it) Yeah… that’s how chasing the ball works, Cupcake.
CUPCAKE: Carl, does Scales the snake have legs?
CARL: OOOOOOOh! (hangs head) Well… I guess he doesn’t.
CUPCAKE: Do you think that if you want to play with Scales, that maybe you should ask him how he wants to play?
NARRATOR: Carl blinked at Cupcake, and then moved off at a slower pace, deep in thought. Carl was gone for a long time, which gave Cupcake a chance to catch up on her Sudoku, but eventually he came back.
CUPCAKE: Oh hey Carl, how did things go with Scales?
CARL: Oh, Cupcake: it was great! I asked Scales if he wanted to play. And he said yes. So I asked him how. And he said there was a sunny spot in the yard that he never gets to visit because it’s too far away for him. So he got on my back and I took him to the yard and we basked in the sun.
CUPCAKE: You basked?
CARL: Oh yeah, it was the best. Nice and warm and I even rolled on my back and felt the sun on my belly. And Scales loved it!
CUPCAKE: Well, I… gosh, Carl. I think I might be a little jealous. That sounds wonderful!
CARL: Yeah! That went so well it gave me another idea. So when I brought Scales back to his terrarium I stopped back by Genie's rabbit hutch and apologized for the bones and asked her what she wanted.
CUPCAKE: Really? And what did she want?
CARL: Clover! Honestly I tried some and I’m not a fan, but Genie liked it and that’s the important thing!
CUPCAKE: It sounds like you learned something today.
CARL: Yeah! When I was a puppy, the golden rule, “Do to others as you want them to do to you” made a lot of sense, and it worked really well when everyone I was with was also a puppy! But now I have a lot of different friends who might need different things than what I want.
CUPCAKE: Carl, you’ve discovered the platinum rule: “Do to others as they would have you do to them.”
CARL: Which means I have to ask them what they would like.
CUPCAKE: That’s right, now let’s go get some catnip.
CARL: (scandalized) Cupcake!
CUPCAKE: Just kidding Carl, I’m going to have some catnip, you can have whatever it is that dogs like.