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No Gas Today


Billy looked at the sign and shook his head sadly. His father's gas station had been closed for two weeks now. There was a gasoline shortage. Billy didn't know when his father would get a new supply of gasoline.

He was sitting by the gas pump when a stray dog wandered up to him. First the dog sniffed at Billy's feet. Then he placed a paw on the hose of the gas pump.

"Sorry fella, no gas today," Billy said. The dog pawed at the hose again. "Here, I'll show you." Billy reached up and pressed the trigger on the nozzle.

Suddenly a jet of gasoline shot out. "Hey! Where'd that come from?" Billy ex claimed.

At that moment a car pulled up. "Hey, kid," the driver called. "I'm out of gas. I know what your sign says, but you must have something."

"There seems to be a little left," Billy said. "Maybe it will be enough to get you to the next station." He put the nozzle into the gas tank. For the next few minutes Billy's eyes widened as more and more gas poured out of the hose. Soon the tank was full.

"Thanks a lot, Sonny! Keep the change," said the man as he handed Billy several bills.

As he was driving away, another car pulled into the station. "Fill 'er up," said the driver. Billy shrugged and filled up the tank with gas. After the car pulled away, Billy took down the CLOSED sign.

All afternoon Billy filled gas tanks. There was plenty of gasoline for everyone. Late that afternoon, Billy's father walked up to the station. "I've been looking all over for you," he began angrily. "What have..." He stopped suddenly and stared at the line of cars waiting for gas.

"Where did you get the gas?" he asked.

"I don't know, Dad," Billy shrugged. "But I've been filling up cars all afternoon."

Billy's father checked the storage tanks. They were full! He stood there for a moment, scratching his head. Then he rushed over to the pump as one of the waiting drivers honked his horn.

Billy and his father stayed at the station until late that night. They were the only gas station open for miles. But no matter how much gas they pumped, the storage tanks were still full.

The next day was Saturday. Billy and his father opened the station earlier than usual. They pumped gas all morning.

At noon Billy sat down in the grass behind the station to eat his lunch. The same stray dog he had seen the day before walked up to him and looked hungrily at his sandwich. "Hey, you've been hanging around the station all day, haven't you? Here, have a bite."

For the rest of the day and late into the night, Billy and his father worked at the station pumping gas. They even opened the station on Sunday -- something they had never done before. And every time Billy's father checked the storage tanks, they still full!

On Monday Billy was at school. His father was running the gas station alone. Late that morning, as he was walking around a car to put some oil in, he tripped over the stray dog. The oil can flew out of his hand, and oil spilled out onto the ground. "Get out of here, you mutt," he said angrily. "You've been under my feet for the last three days." The dog just sat there and looked at him.

"Okay, I warned you." And then he picked up a wrench and waved it at the dog.

The dog gave a frightened yelp and ran off. Just then a car pulled up. "Fill 'er up," the driver called.

But when Billy's father put the hose into the tank, no gas came out.

When Billy got out of school, he found the stray dog waiting for him. The two of them raced over to the gas station. Billy's father was sitting by the pump, with his head in his hands. The CLOSED -- NO GAS sign was back up.

"I don't know what happened, Son, but the tanks are dry. I don't know what we're going to do."

Just then the stray dog bounded up to the gas pump next to Billy's father. He touched the hose with his paw. Suddenly Billy's face brightened.

"I think we have plenty of gas now, Dad," he said. With that, he lifted the hose and squirted gasoline into the air.

From that time on, the stray dog had a home, and the tanks of the gas station were always full.








©1973, 2013 The Silversteins