Jill Nogales is the author of Zebra on the Go, a children’s picture book. She grew up in sunny California where she often enjoyed a perfect day at the beach. "Wendell and Sam" is in Short Circuit #02, Short Édition's quarterly review.

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Wendell the dog awoke to the wonderful smell of summer.

Samantha the cat stretched and yawned. She could smell it too. "This is a perfect day for..."

"...going to the beach, right?" Wendell said.

"No, no, no," said Sam. "This is a perfect day for taking a nap."

"You could nap at the beach, couldn't you?" Wendell suggested.

"Why not," Sam said. "Let's go!"

Tails held high, the two friends walked to the beach.

Sam spread two beach blankets on the warm sand. "Perfect," she purred. "Let's nap."

"What, me? No way!" Wendell said.

But Sam put on her frowny-face. So Wendell huffed, loudly, and plopped down on the blanket next to her.

But Wendell could not sleep. Not with all those waves splashing on the shore.

As soon as Sam closed her eyes, Wendell put on his swim goggles and snuck away. He waded into the water. He leaped into the waves. He dog-paddled in circles until a huge wave tumbled him up onto the shore.

Wendell shook his furry coat. Oops! Salty seawater sprayed all over Sam.

Wendell quickly dropped onto the blanket and faked a snore.

But Wendell could not sleep. Not while two other dogs were digging a hole in the sand.

As soon as Sam closed her eyes again, Wendell tippy-toed around, sniffing at the sand. When he found just the right spot, he began to dig. He dug harder. And faster. Sand flew everywhere.

Even on Sam. Yikes!

Wendell immediately returned to nap mode.

But Wendell could not sleep. Not with all those seagulls swooping and screeching in the sky.

As soon as Sam closed her eyes again, Wendell crept toward the nearest seagull. And the chase began! Back and forth Wendell ran along the beach, kicking up sand and barking until...

A seagull dropped the unthinkable right on top of Sam's head. SPLAT! 

Wendell threw himself down on his blanket and played dead.

But Wendell could not sleep.

Not surprisingly, neither could Sam. "You know what, Wendell?" said Sam. "This napping-at-the-beach thing is not working for me."

"Well, then," Wendell said, holding up a sand shovel and bucket, "let's try a building-at-the-beach thing." And together Wendell and Sam built a spectacular sandcastle.

Later, as the friends walked home together, Wendell wagged his tail. It had been a perfect day at the beach.

But now he was ready for a nap.

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