There is a school bus that runs in a nice village. It is colourful and driven by a cheerful driver. When the bus is running, it looks like it is shaking all over. That’s because it carries all the children from the whole village. They just chatter and laugh and don’t sit still, but the driver doesn’t mind.
He takes them to and from school. He stops at every bus stop. When he takes the children from school, at some stops parents wait for the children, at others grandmothers or grandfathers, and in some places older siblings. At only one stop is there always a dog waiting. The dog’s name is Barney. He is a faithful friend of the little schoolboy Matt. Barney is furry and big. He’s a protective dog and a great helper.
Every time the bus comes, he wags his tail and barks to greet him. He can’t wait to meet his Matt. When the schoolboy gets off, Barney can’t contain himself and starts jumping around him, licking his face and it looks as if he is smiling. Then he walks faithfully beside him all the way home. Along the way, Matt always tells him about what he experienced at school, and Barney listens closely, as if he understands him.
Once, while Barney was waiting at a bus stop, something unusual happened. Matt got off the bus, he didn’t smile, hung his head low and he didn’t say anything. Barney tried to cheer Matt up, but he was still very sad. It went on like this for a few more days. When Barney didn’t hear anything from Matt, and saw he was struggling, he decided to find out for himself what was going on.
In the morning, when Matt left for school, Barney watched the school bus the children were sitting in. He ran all the way behind it so that Matt wouldn’t see him. At the school, he crept up behind a bush and watched from a distance as his friend got off and walked to school. He wandered along the sidewalk. His friend kept his head low and walked as slowly as he could. He didn’t want to go to school. But why? At that moment, three big boys came up behind him. One was nudging Matt, one was laughing mischievously and the third was taking his schoolbag.
Matt stood in front of them and his face showed that he was afraid. Barney could tell that they were not his friends, and because he wanted to help his little friend, he ran after them. He stood behind Matt, bared his teeth and began to growl dangerously. All three boys froze and didn’t move in fear. “What is that? Who is it? Is he yours?” they asked one over the other, backing away slowly. Matt was surprised to see Barney there at first. But when he saw his faithful dog friend defending him, he was overjoyed. “Yes, he’s mine. He is the best dog in the world. And if you don’t leave me alone, he’ll rip your pants off,” Matt proudly replied with a smile. All three boys ran away and never dared to do anything to Matt again.
Since then, Barney keeps waiting for his schoolboy at the bus stop every day. He greets him warmly and Matt smiles and is not sad. He knows that he is not alone in his troubles. He has a protector and a friend.