Paul and his dog go for their daily walk, they meet a mischievous magic tree that plays tricks on Paul (and especially his dog).

Just another day in the land of Jolly Good Kangaroo!

Story by Clark Ness. Used with permission.

Read Along! Click for Full Story Text

A Robot Dog
By Clark Ness

One day Paul and his dog Rocky went for a walk.

They walked and walked. After a little bit, they walked past a big tree.

Poof! Rocky was a robot dog.

“Woof, woof,” barked Rocky the robot dog.

“What is going on?” asked Paul. “Who turned my dog into a robot dog?”

Paul looked all around him. He looked up the street.


He looked down the street.


He looked behind the tree.


He looked up into the tree.


No one was there.


He stopped and stood still.

“Hee, hee, hee,” he heard.


It came from the Tree.

“Woof, woof,” barked Rocky the robot dog at the tree.

Paul looked at the tree. He could not see anything different about this tree.


He could not think of what to do.

“Tree, are you a real tree?” asked Paul.


The tree did not say anything.


Rocky the robot dog came over and smelled the tree.

“Woof, woof,” he barked at it again.

Paul was mad. He did not like it that Rocky was a robot dog.


Paul walked over to the tree and tickled it.


“Stop that,” said the tree. “Why did you tickle me?”

“I think you turned my dog into a robot dog,” said Paul.

“Maybe I did, and maybe I didn’t,” said the tree, who was holding his branches in front of himself so Paul could not tickle him again.


“It is kind of funny to see a dog become a robot.”

Paul got real mad this time and went up to the tree.


He pushed away the tree’s branches and tickled him some more.


“Oh, stop, stop,” said the tree. “I don’t want to be tickled anymore.”

“I still think you turned Rocky into a robot dog,” said Paul who was about to tickle the tree again.

“Okay, okay,” said the tree. “I turned your dog into a robot dog. Just don’t tickle me anymore.”

“Well, I don’t think it is funny,” said Paul.

“Now turn Rocky the robot dog back into Rocky the real dog.”

“Okay,” said the tree.

Poof! Rocky was Rocky the real dog again.

“Now don’t do that anymore,” said Paul.

“Someone might get mad and tickle you again. You would not like that.”

“Okay, I won’t turn dogs into robot dogs anymore,” said the tree.

Paul and Rocky walked home.


The tree never turned any more dogs into robots, but every now and then, Paul would see a robot butterfly go flying past his home.