The twilit streets were almost deserted when Tiny and Penny-dog reached home from their walk. Suddenly, Penny-dog stopped. She turned to stare, tail sinking between her legs.
“What is it Penny-dog?” Tiny strained to see.
I’m not sure. Penny-dog’s velvety ears were pinned against her head, and Tiny could see the white of her wide, frightened eyes.
Tiny’s voice trembled. “Who’s there?” The skin on her arms pricked like chicken skin.
I think I’ve seen a ghost!

Tiny whirled around. Standing on the corner was a dog. Its large, stocky form glowed with a delicate silver light, so gauzy, Tiny could see the outline of Old Man Guthrie’s house through it.
“A ghost dog!” she gasped.
They stepped towards it. The dog wagged its tail and the air around it shimmered. Tiny saw that its eyes were filled with a thousand sparkling stars, like open windows to a far-flung galaxy.
Woof.  Ghost dog’s bark echoed through the trees.
“What’s he saying?” Tiny whispered.
The two dogs sniffed then spoke in their silent tongue. Merlin belonged to Old Man Guthrie, thought Penny-dog. He lost something special and needs to find it. Tiny frowned. She now recognized the dog—he was often called good boy, and never left Old Man Guthrie’s side.
Her voice was gentle. “Can we help you, Merlin?” Without responding, Merlin floated towards Old Man’s Guthrie’s vegetable patch and started to dig.

Tiny felt a thrill, wondering if the lost thing was still underground. But excitement turned to horror when Merlin’s ghostly arms drifted through the soil without moving a clump. He turned to them with pleading eyes.
“Help him, Penny-dog! Please!” Tiny cried.
Penny-dog instantly leapt onto the dirt. Within seconds, soil and seeds showered the air until a dark hollow remained. The dogs stepped back and Tiny leapt inside. Lying in the hole was a dirty old bone.
“It’s just a bone,” she sighed. “I’m sorry.” But as she turned, a glint of cold steel caught her eye. “There’s something here!” Tiny hauled the metal shard onto a nearby rock. “It’s Old Man Guthrie’s penknife!”
Merlin found it! Penny-dog yelped. He buried it with his bone!
Merlin howled into the ink-black sky, blowing clouds of sparkling stars. With each doleful cry his light faded, until all that remained was a single silver star. It drifted into the hole like a snowflake, then disappeared into the earth. Tiny shivered, it was time to go home. As they reached the road, a parting howl shook the darkness.
“You’re welcome,” Tiny murmured. “Goodbye, good boy.”