Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Family Pet (05/15/08)
TITLE: It's All In A Name
By Virginia Gorg
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We finally got a family pet during summer vacation. Sure not what I would have picked out. I don’t understand why my little brother, Danny, gets to pick out everything. He even named the beady-eyed creature Fluffy.
We brought it home and immediately it ate our dinner.
“Mom,” I said. “This thing is a monster. What do we have for dinner now?”
“Sam, it’s okay. We have plenty of leftovers in the refrigerator. Now go and set the table.”
I picked out the green plates and put out four places.
“Where’s a plate for Fluffy?” Danny looked at me with large doe-eyes, brimming with tears.
“It doesn’t need to eat at the table.”
I heard a loud crunch. Dad said, “You’re right. Fluffy is eating the table.”
Fluffy looked quite content with himself as a table leg disappeared into his mouth. Sauntering off, he curled up by the window and fell asleep in the sun.
The silence was followed by mom’s comment. “We needed a new table anyway. Danny, please take Fluffy outside when he awakens.”
I looked at my parents. I think they have lost their minds. “This thing ate our dinner and now our table. Aren’t you going to do anything?”
Dad said, “we’ll just have to train Fluffy that his food is outside. Do you think that five bags of food are enough?”
Mom said, “of course. The store owner said Fluffy only needs one bagful each day.”
Danny was smiling again. “I love Fluffy. Can he sleep in my bed?”
I said, “he would probably just eat the bed. And maybe even eat you, too!” I said the last sentence threateningly.
Mom admonished me. “Sam, that’s enough. You know how long Danny has been wanting a pet.”
“But I’ve wanted one, too. When do I get to pick out something?”
Dad looked at me quizzically. “What would you choose?”
“I’m thinking of something small, like a cat.”
“You know I’m allergic to animals with fur. Absolutely not. I think Danny’s choice was the best possible.”
Mom said, “everyone sit down. Dinner is ready.”
If you’ve never tried to eat soup sitting in a chair with no table, all I can say is, don’t try. Soup sloshed out of our bowls and spilled to the floor.
Dad laughed, “tomorrow we’ll pick out a new table. After dinner is done, I’ll finish the outside pen for Fluffy. Then Danny can show him his new home.”
I helped mom clean the dishes while Fluffy cleaned the floor. He seemed to like mom’s bean soup.
“That’s a great help,” mom said. “I don’t have to wash the floor now.”
An hour later, dad called us to come see Fluffy’s new home.
“It’s perfect,” mom said. “Danny, Fluffy will be very happy here during the day while you’re away at school. You can play with him when you get home.”
“Then can he sleep in my bed?”
“No,” dad said. “Fluffy will be safe here during the night.”
Danny pouted, but mom and dad were insistent. Fluffy romped around in his pen, happy to have enough space to run and roll in the dirt.
As summer continued, Fluffy ate his way through bag after bag of all the garbage in the house. Dad was happy that we were able to cancel the trash pickup.
I decided that Fluffy could give a whole new meaning to the phrase, “my pet ate my homework.”
When school started, my friend Sue asked what kind of animal we had picked out at the pet store.
I could only shrug my shoulder as I said, “an Iguanodon.”
“Wow, I’ve always wanted one of those,” she said. “All we have is a cat.”
I smiled, thinking about Fluffy. It might be fun having him around after all.
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