Practically everyone has heard the expression “the dog days of summer,” but what exactly does it mean? And where did it come from?
I will tell you.
Thousands of years ago, there was a small country called Petville that was ruled by a kind, fluffy, beautiful cocker spaniel named Augusta. She ruled over the dogs of Petville for three long months – three hot, sticky, humid months where rain never fell and all the dog-citizens stopped barking because they were too busy panting. But she instituted new leash laws that all the dog-citizens loved, and called for mandatory daily swims and hour-long fetch sessions. The dogs of Petville were very happy! One day, though, the weather turned cooler, and Augusta realized she had accomplished all she wanted to in Petville. She retired and a tabby cat named Snowflake became the new ruler of Petville, but those days of her successful tenure went on to become known as the dog days of summer.
OK, so none of this is true. But I had you going for a while there, right? That’s the beauty of writing: you set words onto paper, and the world you create becomes a little bit more real.
So for today's writing prompt, pick out a common saying that you or someone you know always uses – maybe something like “It’s raining cats and dogs!” or “He has ants in his pants” or “Caught between a rock and a hard place” or “Every cloud has a silver lining.” Then, write a short story about where that expression came from. The best part? You get to make it up! Think of a silly, clever way that those clichés could have originated.
Leave your thoughts in the Comments!
– Morgan, Scholastic staffer