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Rated: E · Short Story · Animal · #2281190
Just a little story about the adventures at a pet store, {2768 words}
Humphrey was an orange and white guinea pig that lived in a pet store on the corners of Maple and Brown streets in a small town. He had a wonderful homemade of straw, chopped leaves and sawdust. He always had plenty to eat and drink and had lots of hiding places he could go when Marmalade, the owner's cat passed by. Humphrey did not like Marmalade, but the big black Persian had been there ever since he was a kitten. Mr. Hopple, the store owner, seemed to love him very much, as he did all the animals in the store.

On one side of Humphrey's home was a tall table that held a large glass bowl which was the home of Mr. and Mrs. Goldfish and their six children. They had nice green trees and shiny pebbles and slept in a beautiful castle. Every time Marmalade passed by, they swam inside the castle and stayed there till he was gone. They were very afraid of what he could do if ever he got up on the table.

On the other side of Humphrey there was a huge metal cage where Clarence and Cybil Turtledove lived. They would sing pretty songs for all the animals unless Marmalade was around, then they would cuddle close on their perch and be very quiet. They were not afraid of Marmalade, but they never got to close to the outer bars of the cage, as he might reach in with his paw and hurt one of them.

In front of the store there was a glass window where people passing by the store could look inside. This was the home of three small puppies, though Humphrey could not see them because of the large board that was there to keep them from getting out. He always saw children reach over the board and pull up something fat and furry. He once heard Mr. Hopple say they were orphans he had found on the steps of the store one day last month. One was brown all over with one small white spot on his left eye, his name was Spats. The other two were white and brown, their names were Rags and Ben. They were only six weeks old and even though they were puppies, they were very quiet and slept a lot.

Over in one of the corners of the store stood a square cage that held two small kittens named Babs and P.J. Humphrey could hear them every mourning meowing until they were given a bowl of milk which they seem to like very much. There were five kittens at one time, but three had been adopted. The reason Humphrey knew all the animals' names was because Mr. Hopple would call them each by their name as he was feeding them every morning. He went around the store every morning to make sure none were sick or if any needed a bath.

Across the room by Mr. Hopple's desk stood a large perch that was the resting place of a large bird whose name was Feathers. He was a bright green and blue color with some yellow on his face. Mr. Hopple called him a parrot. He could sit on his perch all day and never fall off. Humphrey had even seen him sleeping on the perch, which really bewildered him. One day Humphrey had even heard Feathers talk. 'Hello, pretty boy." Feathers said to Mr. Hopple. Humphrey swore he had heard him say "bad cat," as Marmalade ran by his perch. Feathers could fly and Humphrey knew he was not afraid of Marmalade. In fact, Humphrey thought Marmalade was a little afraid of Feathers because of how he always ran past the perch instead of walking.

Behind Feathers on the floor was a small, round plastic pool where three turtles and one frog lived. Their house was full of water and rocks. The turtle's names were Tillie, Tommy and Clyde. The frog's name was Freddie, and he could jump from rock to rock which fascinated Humphrey. Once as Marmalade was walking by the pool, Freddie jumped off a rock into the water which then splashed all over Marmalade getting him all wet. This, Humphrey thought was a just reward for the cat and laughed to himself. Next to the pool in small plastic cages, there was a hampster named Henry, a gerbil named Gracy, and two mice named Herbert and Harriet.

In another corner by the back door there stood a very large metal cage with black bars. This was the home of one of the most comical creatures in the whole pet store, Rosie the chimpanzee. She would jump up and down and shake the bars and scream. Rosie would sit and watch Mr. Hopple feed the animals. She watched as people came into the store and looked at the animals. Most of all she watched Marmalade. Rosie and Marmalade did not get along at all. One day as Marmalade was walking by her cage, Rosie reached out and grabbed her tail, you never heard such a commotion. Marmalade was meowing and Rosie was jumping up and down screaming. Finally, Rosie let go and Marmalade made a bee line for the front door and Humphrey didn't see him again for two hours. Although Humphrey thought it was amusing to watch this display, he knew it must have hurt Marmalade very much, for there on the floor by the cage was cat hair from his tail.

The one thing that Humphrey admired about Marmalade was that he could come and go as he pleased. He never knew where he went, but he knew it must be exciting to be able to go outside every day. Humphrey wished that someday soon he would be adopted so he too, could go outside. The only time he got to see out was when people opened the door to come in. Humphrey knew that when he was adopted, he would have to leave all his friends and that would make him sad. He would even miss Marmalade.

One day a man, woman and little boy came into the store They walked over to the window where the puppies were. As they were looking at Spats the small boy slipped away and headed for Rosie's cage. Humphrey watched as the boy took something from his pocket that looked Y shaped and had a rubber band on it. Humphrey didn't know what it was, but he knew it was bad. The boy then took another object from his pocket that looked like pebbles from the fishbowl. He put the pebble in the other object, pulled back and let go. The pebble flew through the cage bars and hit Rosie very hard on her leg. She cried out in pain as the boy ran back to his mom and dad. Mr. Hopple went to see why Rosie was crying. He opened the cage door, reached in to get Rosie and as he did, Rosie jumped over his head and ran straight for the boy. She jumped on his back and bit him on his ear, the boy screamed and tried to get her off. The more he tried to get away, the worse it got, and the harder Rosie bit him. Finally, the boy fell to the floor with Rosie on top of him, she was biting his hands and pulling his hair. Mr. Hopple managed to get her off. What a sight to see, what a mess. Rosie was back in her cage, the boy was screaming, and his parents were yelling at Mr. Hopple. Humphrey had never seen anything like it. After the people left, Mr. Hopple went to Rosie's cage and found the pebble, he checked her leg and then gave her a banana. Mr Hopple then put on his coat and said goodnight to all the animals and left to go home. Humphrey knew there was never a dull moment with Rosie around, then he fell asleep.

When Humphrey awoke the next morning, he could hear all sorts of noises and he saw people going in and out of the front door. What was going on? From what he could see, there were men carrying a glass case and they placed it by the front window near the puppies. Next came a large box which Mr. Hopple put near the glass case. He told the men these were the rabbits he had ordered. After the men left, Mr. Hopple took the rabbits out of the box and put them in the case. He covered it with a screen so they could not jump out. The rabbit's names were Hazel and Harvey. One was brown and white and the other was black with a short white tail. Humphrey thought it was great to have new friends in the store. He wondered what Marmalade would react to these new animals.

Several days had gone by without an incident. Then it happened, the animals were awakened one morning with the sound of loud meowing and banging. There on top of the rabbit cage was Marmalade with his paw caught in the screen that covered the case. Mr. Hopple was yelling, "bad cat, bad cat!" He finally got Marmalade free and out the door he ran. The rabbits were huddled in the corner shaking. It must have been frightening for them. Humphrey was glad his home was all glass and Marmalade couldn't get to him.

Humphrey always liked Sundays because that was the day for adoptions. He would clean himself and slick his hair down so that he looked his best. He wanted to be adopted so much. He sat and watched as his friends were chosen and taken out the door. Every Sunday at least two of his friends were adopted. Humphrey hoped today was hid day. As he sat there waiting for people to start coming in he noticed some people over by Mr. Hopple's desk. They were talking, but Humphrey could not hear them very good. He could make out something about animals going somewhere next Saturday. After the people left Humphrey noticed Mr. Hopple sitting at his desk with his head in his hands. "What do I do now?" he sighed. Humphrey had never seen Mr. Hopple so sad. He didn't know what was going on, but it must really be bad. Were they going to lose their homes? What was wrong?

In the next four days things only got worse. Men with big boxes and a truck came and started packing up things from the store. They took all the food and pet stuff from the shelves. They moved the desk out to the truck. One by one the animals were taken to the truck and loaded up. Humphrey was heartbroken. He just knew he would never see his friends or Mr. Hopple again. The men finally came to Humphrey's home. They picked it up stand and all and carried him out the door to the truck. Humphrey saw a whole new world, there were people everywhere. It was so bright and noisy. No wonder Marmalade liked it out here. After Humphrey's home was placed in the truck, the doors were closed. It was very dark inside and Humphrey could not see any of his friends. There were windows,
but very little light came through them. After what seemed like forever, the truck stopped, and the doors opened. There stood Mr. Hopple. Humphrey was so glad to see him, and all the animals made such a noise as if to say "Hello" to him. One by one the animals were taken inside of a large building where they were placed in different places. Humphrey was placed in front by the large window. He thought this was terrific. He could now look out the window and watch people pass by and see the bright light. After a few hours all the animals were inside and, in their homes, again. As he looked around to see if everyone was there, he noticed how big the room was and how bright. Against the back wall the puppies had a new pen and Humphrey could see them now. They seemed to be happy. Feathers was on his perch by the back door eating a cracker. Rosie was sitting beside Mr. Hopple's desk. Everyone was there and seemed to be very happy with their new home. This made Humphrey happy that all his friends were there. He looked for Marmalade, but he was not there. He didn't like him, but he was used to seeing him in the store. It had been such an exciting and long day that Humphrey decided to take a nap. He curled up in his bed and fell fast asleep.

When Humphrey awoke the store was noisy and Mr. Hopple was busy feeding everyone. In the middle of all the excitement he saw Marmalade sitting by a box near Mr. Hopple's desk. He was purring and pawing at the box. Mr. Hopple reached down and took six kittens out and placed them right beside Humphrey in a small glass case. "Marmalade, you have such a beautiful family." Mr Hopple said. Humphrey had always thought Marmalade to be a boy cat and now this. Marmalade jumped in the case with the kittens and there she stayed for a long time.
Humphrey wasn't sure if he wanted Marmalade this close, but the kittens were so sweet.

Suddenly the front door opened and in came some children. They started talking all at once. "What kind a animals you got, mister?" "Do you have lizards or snakes?"
Mr. Hopple said. "Why don't you look around?" As the children were walking around the store Humphrey noticed one boy was headed right for Rosie's cage. "Oh, no." he thought, "here we go again." Rosie was sitting in her cage eating a banana. The boy reached through the bars and grabbed it away from her.
Rosie grabbed for the banana but got a handful of the boy's hair instead. What followed was loud screaming and crying and Rosie jumping up and down. Mr. Hopple came running and reached the cage just in time to see the boy trying to get away from Rosie. He grabbed the boy by the jacket and finally got Rosie to let go. Then he told the children to please leave and not to come back without their parents. Then he handed Rosie another banana and the store was quiet once more.

In the months that followed, one by one, the animals were adopted out. Humphrey
was sad, but he knew they were all happy. For every animal that was adopted Mr. Hopple replaced them with new ones. The store was never empty and Humphrey had new friends, even though he missed his old friends a lot. One day a small girl came into the store and stood right in front of Humphrey's house. Mr. Hopple came over and opened Humphrey's cage and took him out and placed him in a small box with holes in it. "I hope you enjoy your new pet." he said to the little girl. Finally, Humphrey was going to be someone's pet. He was very happy. He would miss Mr. Hopple, but he couldn't wait to see his new home.

The little girl was good to him and she took him out of his house every day to hold him and play with him. She gave him good things to eat and a soft cotton bed to sleep on. One day the little girl put Humphrey in a small cage and took him for a walk. Humphrey looked at the trees and the people as they went by. Then the girl stopped in front of the pet store. She opened the door, and they went inside. Humphrey was so surprised to see Mr. Hopple and all his friends and yes, even Marmalade. After a while they left and went home. Humphrey went right to sleep. He had enjoyed seeing his friends again. He and the little girl often made trips to the pet store after that.

To this day if you go to Mr. Hopple's pet store, you can visit with Marmalade who lies in the window and watches people go by. Or maybe you'll see Rosie who still pulls Marmalade's tail as she passes by. Feathers still sits on his perch and talks. Mr. Hopple could not bring himself to get rid of Rosie or Feathers, so he adopted them himself. They all live together at the pet store and he still feeds them and loves them every day.

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