Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Family Pet (05/15/08)
TITLE: Naming Peter
By JoAnne Potter
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He didn’t like the water at all, but he cleaned up pretty good. Mom wasn’t too crazy about keeping him at first, and she never did directly say I could, but when he curled up in the palm of her hand, she told me,
--You’ll have to name him, you know.
I hadn’t thought that far ahead. I never had a pet before, something that is, well, alive. How did Adam do it? I mean, people need normal names, ones they can wear as easy as the tee-shirt Mom always has to take off my back to wash. But you can name animals anything.
Colors, for instance, like Red or Blue. Or you can came them after a mood, like Grumpy or Giggles. You can name them after somebody famous: Einstein or Columbus or Robert E. Lee. Sometimes fancy names sound cool, like Michaelangelo or Nebudchanezzar. You can even make up stuff. What in the world does Fido mean, anyway? So many choices did not help.
Asking other people didn’t, either. Mom thought I should call him Spice because of his orange color. Too girly. Dad thought Willie sounded good. After all, he was still only a few days old. Willie make it or won’t he? sounded like a reasonable question to him. I didn’t think that Sally, at only four years old, would be much help and she wasn’t. I threw out her Tinkerbell idea right away. That left me pretty much with nothing.
I did have him, though. By then, he’d taken to sleeping in the crook of my left arm, where I wouldn’t disturb him while I did homework or—don’t tell Mom—slept at night. Sometimes, he’d open one eye just to make sure I was still there.
--You had a pretty rough start, didn’t you, little guy? I guess everybody ends up in a mud puddle sooner or later, though.
His tail shook and he started to gnaw on a finger.
--It sure feels great when somebody picks you out of it. I bet you would just sing if you could.
He purred instead.
--Well, I kind of like being your safe place. You can stand on me. It helps me to remember that I’ll always need someone, too.
Then I knew his name.
Psalm 40: 1-3
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