Tiny Stories: Childhood Pet Memories

Popular belief has it that the universe is comprised of atoms. In reality, the universe is actually made up of…

“Do you hate animals,” Florence asked her boyfriend. “I mean, no judgments if you do, it’s just you know how much I love them, right?”

“Yeah, I know you do,” answered Frank. “And no, I don’t have anything against animals.”

“Then why don’t you want a pet? They’re great companions, filled with love and affection, and studies show that pet owners tend to live longer, healthier lives.”

“I can’t tell you.”

“Why not?”

“You’ll laugh.”

Florence made the sign of the cross on her left breast with her index finger. “Cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye. I promise, I won’t.”

Frank left out a long, slow breath and said, “I grew up poor…”

“There’s no shame in that.”

“And my childhood home was a one-bedroom apartment that was so small that you had to open a window if you wanted to change your mind…”

“I’ve lived in a few of those,” Florence nodded in understanding.

“And I wanted to have a pet so badly, but there just wasn’t enough room, and we couldn’t have afforded to feed one anyway…”

Florence gave a soft grunt and nodded again.

“But like I said,” Frank continued. “I wanted a pet so badly…so I made my own pets out of dust bunnies who lived under my bed. I built them a warren and everything, and we used to go on imaginary adventures…”

“Awww, that’s so adorable,” invisible heart emojis beamed from Florence’s eyes.

“But my mother would always ruin it each time she came through for a quick tidy-up with the Dustbuster. All those bunny deaths…all those bunny deaths…”

Florence wrapped her arms around her boyfriend and held him as he wept softly into her shoulder. If they remained together, she knew they would live in a pet-free home.

©2019 Rhyan Scorpio-Rhys