Grandpa was furious. The dahlia bulbs were missing! The whole family turned out to search for the missing bulbs.

Grandpa came stomping in from the garden. He looked angry. “Where are my dahlia bulbs?” He went into the dining room. Samir was there drinking milk. “Did you take them?”

Samir was scared. He didn’t like the stern look on Grandpa’s face. He liked it when Grandpa laughed and played with him. He shook his head. “No, Grandpa. I didn’t take your dahlia bulbs.”

“Are you sure, Samir?” asked Grandma, coming in as he finished his milk.

“You were playing with my garden tools yesterday,” said Grandpa. “The bulbs were right there in a packet.”

“No, Grandpa,” insisted Samir. “All I did was dig a bit in the garden. Then I put the tools back.”

“Come on,” said Grandma. “Let’s search for the bulbs.”

Grandma, Grandpa and Samir went outside. They looked everywhere. They looked inside and outside the shed. They looked in all the buckets and in the wheelbarrow. They looked on the shelves and behind the sacks.

“What are you looking for?” said a voice behind them and they turned around. It was Shreya, Samir’s younger sister. She was sitting on her tricycle.

“We’re looking for the dahlia bulbs,” said Grandpa. “Have you seen them?”

Shreya shook her head. “I don’t know what dahlia bulbs are,” she said.

Grandpa took a thin stick and drew in the mud. “Dahlia bulbs are brown and roundish. They look like onions. But once they grow they have beautiful big flowers in many colours.”

“I’ll show you pictures of Grandpa’s dahlias,” said Grandma.

All four of them went back into the house. They sat in the dining room and looked at Grandpa’s albums.

“I want to wear a dahlia in my hair,” said Shreya.

Grandpa laughed. “My dahlias are as big as your head!” Then he added, “But there won’t be any dahlias this year if we don’t find the bulbs.”

“Let’s search the house!” cried Shreya, running to look in Mother and Father’s room. Samir followed.

“What are you searching for?” asked Mother, looking up from the computer where she was working.

“We’re looking for Grandpa’s dahlia bulbs,” said Shreya.

“What would dahlia bulbs be doing in my room?” exclaimed Mother. “Go look outside.”

As they turned to leave the room, Samir peeped under the bed. Their dog Buddy was lying there.

“Come out, Buddy!” said Samir.

“Come help us, Buddy!” said Shreya.

The big search

Buddy wouldn’t budge. So Samir crawled under the bed and pushed him out. Buddy followed the children reluctantly. It had been nice and peaceful under the bed. He didn’t feel like running around in the middle of the day.

Grandpa looked up when Buddy and the children came into the dining room. “So, have you found the bulbs? Has Buddy managed to sniff them out?”

“We’re trying, Grandpa,” said Samir. He looked into Buddy’s eyes and said, “Find the dahlia bulbs, Buddy.”

Buddy wagged his tail but didn’t budge. Samir pulled on Buddy’s collar. “Come on, Buddy. Let’s go and search!”

He took Buddy outside. Buddy ran off to one side of the garden and Samir followed. Shreya went too.

Suddenly Samir started shouting. Grandpa and Grandma rushed out.

“Stop it, Buddy! Stop it!” cried Samir. Buddy was digging and mud was flying everywhere. There was mud on Buddy’s back, there was mud in Samir’s hair.

“Move away!” said Grandma to Samir. “Step aside and you won’t get dirty!”

But Samir wouldn’t move until Buddy stopped digging and sat down in the hole that he had made. Then he leaned forward and pulled at Buddy’s collar and dragged Buddy out.

He started laughing. “I knew it! I knew it!” he said. “It was Buddy all along!”

Everyone crowded around him. Samir was looking into the hole. There was the packet of dahlia bulbs — and also an old ball and a roll of coloured string and many other things that had gone missing over the week!

Keywords: Children story