The satisfying, sly, subversive story of how John gets himself a puppy, though his parents suggest a nice gerbil instead. ""Gerbils don't make any noise at all,"" his father says when John objects that gerbils are noisy and cry at night. But sure enough, John's does. So they exchange the gerbil for a chameleon, though John insists that it will glow in the dark and keep him awake. When that prediction too is fulfilled (his parents have John's word for it), a frog is suggested; but this time John has only to state that the frog will chew on the furniture all night for the parents to concede defeat. Batherman's light, amused, affectionate drawings follow Griffith's lead and give nothing away.