Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Family Pet (05/15/08)
By Stacy Jamison
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The day we brought her home, Oreo was shy, quiet, and well mannered. That was the first day. Every day afterward proved to be a hellish hodge-podge of chewed up shoes, purse straps and underwear of all things! We nicknamed her ‘Uh-Oh’ because that’s what we usually say when we find her. “Uh-Oh!” Oreo has torn or broken something up.
We walked in from shopping one day to find Oreo in her crate with tiny shreds of paper all around her. Happily, she looked up, innocently wagging her tail and ready to go outside. As we surveyed the room to find what paper she had shredded, we noticed an approximant three foot diameter circle missing from the wall next to the kitchen. Oreo had just enough room in her crate to get to the wall and destroy the wallpaper. Six months old, Oreo was banished to the yard; no longer an indoor pet.
Living in the country, and without fence, Oreo pretty much gets run of many acres. We do, however, have a few neighbors. A very nice couple lives next door, a polo farm across the street, a few houses sprinkled between a three mile ‘neighborhood’.
Things began mysteriously showing up around the house. First, beer cans. I walked the yard to find Bud Light beer cans all over the property. We don’t drink Bud Light! How did Bud Light beer cans get all over my yard? Miffed; I picked the litter off the ground.
Work gloves and tools showed up in the driveway and in the middle of the yard. Annoyed at daily litter duty, I was convinced the workers from the farm across the street had decided to have lunch or after work parties in my front yard. I planned to go have a chat with the owner. I was tired of picking up beer cans and wrappers every day!
One evening, I came home to find a mini air compressor in the middle of the driveway. I had one like it in the tool shed. Thinking someone broke in, I ran to the shed to find my air compressor sitting in the very spot I left it. The compressor in the driveway was not mine. Hmmm…Who’s compressor? Briefly I contemplated, but put it away and dismissed the event.
A few days later, my neighbor’s trash can appeared at the end of my driveway. The can sat upright and empty, but at the end of my driveway. That’s weird! I thought to myself as I returned Steve’s trash can to the end of his driveway. I wondered why the trash man put the can at the wrong driveway. I dismissed yet another mishap while retrieving empty beer cans.
The very next day, I walked to my backdoor to find a ‘welcome’ mat. I don’t own a ‘welcome’ mat for the backdoor. Curious; I perused the area. Looking around, I found a hammer and one woman’s tennis shoe in the yard. Suspicious, I grabbed a flashlight and looked under the back porch steps. A work boot, socks, a stuffed toy, more beer cans and more tools. A treasure-trove of items hid under the steps.
Too afraid to crawl under the porch, I grabbed a rake and pulled the items out from under the step. Oreo snuck behind me; annoyed as I discovered her stash. Smelling each item I pulled out from the steps, she grabbed the stuffed toy and took off like a bandit! I attempted to chase her, but she is much too fast for me. Mystery solved. We have a thief in our midst!
Embarrassed, humiliated, and ashamed, I loaded the car to return the myriad of items to my neighbors. Like a warped Santa Claus I pulled up my neighbors’ driveways and asked each to identify and retrieve their stolen items. Some were annoyed, but most thought it funny; not one witnessed the burglaries.
These days, if anything is missing within a three mile radius, my house is the first place to check. The entire neighborhood knows Oreo is a kleptomaniac. Only the family knows she is an alcoholic too!
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