August 10, 2015


Did you have pets when you were little?  We did.
My parents purchased a pair of hamsters for my brother and me, because they wanted us to witness the "miracle of birth."
        Well, they'd be sorry...
        My little brother, Markie, ever interested in anything he was too young to understand, stepped up to Mom one day.
"Mommy, we have a male and a female hamster, right?"
        "That's right."
        "And they're going to have babies, right?"
        "Uh huh."
"And they do something called 'mating' to make those babies, right?"
"Then I have a question."
"What is it?"
"When you and Daddy made me, did Daddy chase you around the room and bite you on the leg?"
        So much for the hamsters.
After that, we had a series of animals that met, shall we say, an early demise.  We had tropical fish that Markie ran in, all excited, one day to report on.
        "Hey, Mom!  Our fish are really smart!  They learned a trick all by themselves!"
"Yeah!  They can swim upside down!"
        They were buried at sea, so to speak.
From there, he had parakeets that could lie on their backs for hours and hours, turtles that could concentrate so well that they never moved, a frog that croaked (with and without noise), a guinea pig that had a massive coronary when my brother arranged a surprise party for it, and a rabbit that just couldn't take it anymore, and chewed through an electrical cord.  We found the suicide note under a carrot.
Next, he had a kitten that hung in for quite a while.  It alarmed the neighbors that something at our house actually lived, and there was talk that it was possessed by evil spirits.  The kitten subsequently disappeared, and I contend, to this day, that it was kidnapped and taken to the local church for exorcism.
Then there was the hognose snake, which mysteriously "got lost."  My father found it when he put his hand in the box of nails in the garage and was met with attitude in the strike position.  Markie's bottom was met with my father's palm in the flat position.
But you know what really scares me?
Markie is now in veterinary college.

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