Subject: An Ode to Stumpy
Date: 01 Jul 1996 00:00:00 GMT
From: email@example.com (MegEliz)
Organization: Gene Wolfe Library and Family Restaurant, East Wing
Newsgroups: alt.slack, alt.foot.fat-free, alt.basement.graveyard
The smallest progeny of two gerbils the experts at Petland swore were
both female, Stumpy was a fighter from day one. In the frenzy of
birth, Stumpy's mother destroyed her entire litter, with the exception
of Stumpy. Little Stumpy did not escape the blood orgy unscathed,
however; Mama chewed off one of his front legs, which my mother found
when cleaning the cage.
Bloody and maimed, seperated from his rampaging parents, Stumpy showed
an indominable will. It was if the lack of one leg made him jump all
the higher and all the harder against the lid of his little cage. One
day, he decided once and for all to go over the wall. We had to turn
off the furnace and remove all the covers from the registers in order
to facilitate his return to captivity. Rodential wanderlust sated,
Stumpy dropped into my father's lap one afternoon, and was thus
extradited to a maximum security holding facility.
Stumpy lived out his days in gerbil paradise, yet one cold winter
morning, we found he had left us permanently (so we thought) for that
great gerbil nest in the sky. With snow on the ground, we decided to
put stumpy in a paper bag and store him in the freezer until we could
provide a proper burial for him.
Yet as the ground thawed, so did our grief, and Stumpy remained in the
freezer, waiting. That summer, a kind neighbor brought us some fresh
snap-peas from her garden in a paper bag, which mom stuck in the
freezer. Weeks later, she set a pot to boil, and grabbed the peas to
throw in. Her scream could be heard all over Columbus, Ohio that
evening, as my mother watched Stumpy's frigid body bobbing in the
angry wake of the water. I lost Stumpy a second time that day, and my
mom lost her best double boiler.
Now in college, I have moved on to larger forms of rodent life (a rat,
Azie) but Stumpy holds a special place in my family's heart. His
antics, both before and after his death, still bring a smile to our
Love you, Stumpy!
Kit Messick, NYC
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