Shaggy Dog Story
Way up in the very north of Canada, there lived a trapper and his dog. His name was Sam - the trapper, not the dog. The dog's name was Rover and he was an extremely shaggy dog - I mean REALLY shagy.
Out in the wilderness, Sam did not get visitors nor much mail. But, he did have a newspaper subscription to help stay current with the world. Once a month a plane flew over and dropped out Sam's copy of the newspaper from the closest town which was 98 miles away.
Today just happened to be newspaper day so Sam picked up the paper, went to his cabin, made a cup of hot chocolate and sat down to read. After reading the entire paper, Sam noticed an interesting ad on the back page. It said that way down south in Minnesota an eccentric multi-millionaire was offering half his fortune if only someone would bring him his dying wish, a really shaggy dog.
Carefully he tore the item from the newspaper and placed it in his pocket. Whistling for Rover, he hurriedly packed for his journey. It would be a long haul through some of the worst of the winter months, but he could do it!
And so, with packsack and snowshoes, and Rover on a makeshift lead, he headed south.
(At this point you should add your own horrific tales of icy crevasses, blizzards, starvation, polar bears, thin ice, thick snow: anything to make the journey as difficult and as courageous as possible.)
Weeks passed as Sam and Rover, footsore, frostbitten and weak from lack of food, fought their way nearer and nearer to the millionaire's deathbed. Would they find his house? Would he have found another dog? Would he still be alive? Urgently, Sam asked at each trading post or small homestead he passed.
"My word, that's a shaggy dog you have there!" folks remarked whenever he stopped.
"That's the shagiest dog I've ever seen!"
"Is there a dog under all that shaggy hair?"
Finally, Sam and Rover reached the mansion of the multi-millionaire and stopped at the huge oak-studded front door. Raising a weather-beaten hand, Sam tugged at the wrought iron bell-pull. Distantly, the bell clanged. The door opened and a butler stood in the doorway.
"I've come about the shaggy dog ad in this newspaper," said Sam, carefully drawing out the clipping from his pocket and offering Rover's lead to the butler.
Silently, the butler withdrew with the dog. Sam listened to his footsteps cross the huge hall and climb the massive circular staircase. He waited patiently on the doorstep, dreaming of the luxury soon to be his. At last the butler reappeared. Solemnly, he handed back the dog.
"Not shaggy enough," he said, and shut the door.