My wife and I went to a surprise birthday party for my younger sister last weekend. Her husband put together a surprise birthday party to help her enter into the "realm of 50." The surprise was successful and the celebration joyful. I was asked to write something about her childhood. A happening that could be read allowing the guests to learn some unknown part of her past. Our brother Tom came up with a couple of vague memories and I wrote a small story embellishing on what I remembered. The story was read by our son Eric at her house the day after the party.
"Long, long time ago, in a small abode in Cheektowaga, New York there was a young child, Kim Marie, who loved animals. Her future sister-in-law acquired for her a gentile, fury little creature from the species, "Meriones unguiculatus, commonly known as a gerbil. He was housed in a small plastic habitat equipped with bedding, food, gerbil toys and exercise equipment. Life was peaceful and the gerbil enjoyed the freedom of having recess time outside of its small home. As long as the door was closed the cat, similar to Lucifer from the tale of Cinderella, was unable to get at the gerbil.
However, the life of a gerbil is sometimes wrought with the testing of endurance and oppression that comes with the co-mingling from an adversary as cunning as the cat. So it was not entirely unexpected when one afternoon, as the family was sitting in the living room, the cat came walking down the stairs with the gerbil in its mouth. A cry of horror escaped from the lips of the young child. It was a sound of surprise and anger, so loud, so intense that it scared the cat. Kim immediately charged at the cat which ran up the stairs in an attempt to save its snack. There was an ensuing struggle at which time the gerbil was freed. But in the excitement of the rescue the gerbil bit the very person who had released it from the jaws of impending death. Unfortunately the reaction to the bite caused the gerbil to be thrown across the room. It hit the wall and landed on the hardwood floor. There it was, unmoving, eyes wide open. Life had been drwan from its small body. The cat had lost its snack and Kim had lost a loving pet.
An autopsy was required to determine if the gerbil has rabies. This was apparently not a concern of the cat, but it was a concern of Kim's mother. So Mom neatly bagged the gerbil and hung it on the outside door for the local Health Department to pickup. There was no rabies, no pet funeral and to the dismay of the cat, no more gentile fury little creature for it to snack on."