A young boy gets an odd pet for his birthday.
|John Baker had been looking for a special pet for his son Ben’s birthday. He had been to many pet stores but did not find an animal exceptional enough for his son who would be turning twelve. One day, after a grueling day at the office where he worked as computer technician, he noticed in an old supermarket center a drab shop with Rare Gifts written on dusty glass. He would have thought it abandoned but flickering red letters of an electric sign saying OPEN that endowed his mind with curiosity.
“I’ve never noticed that before,” John said veering his eyes. He pulled into the supermarket lot and parked in from of the strange shop and walked towards the door.
Upon entering, he was greeted by a grinning Chinese man. “Hello sir. Welcome to my shop. Are you looking for anything specific?”
“Just browsing,” John answered.
John, saw small statues, silver medieval goblets, golden coins with strange writings, old books engraved with precious stones, paintings and more fascinating objects.
After twenty minutes of looking, John glanced at his wrist watch. “Shoot, I have to get home. And I’m no closer to finding the right pet,” he said out loud.
“A pet you say?”
“Sorry, I was talking to myself.”
The man smiled. “I happen to have the rarest reptile for sale.”
“Really? Can I see it?”
“I just received it. Come with me.” The man led John to a small wooden crate where he heard scuffling and scratching. The man grinned again. “I’d let you see it but it would escape. It is best you open the box at home.”
John frowned. “For all I know it could be just dog or a cat.”
“If you are not satisfied, you can get a refund.”
John bit his lip then took a deep breath. “Okay. Deal. How much?”
The man laughed. “I am a generous man. But cash only.”
“Very well then.” John pulled put two fifties and gave them to the man. John picked up the small wooden crate. “This is heavy for a reptile.”
“I hope you like it.”
John bolted out the door and put the crate in the trunk then sped home. Ben was still at school so he could hide it for when Ben got back.
After two hours, John’s son came home. “Hi dad.”
“Hey kiddo. I got what you asked for.”
“You got me a pet?!”
Yes. Now I know your party is not until tomorrow, but I want you to open it now. “
John brought out the crate and went to the garage for a crowbar and returned. He was just as exited as Ben was. John began breaking off the top of the crate. Both were struck with terror and surprise.
“Cool, a two headed lizard with wings and it stands on its hind legs. Dad, this looks like a dragon.”
“I must say this is a rare animal indeed,” said John.
Then the two heads of the dragon began whining.
“Why are they making that sound dad?”
“Maybe it’s hungry.”
“But what do we feed it?” Ben put forth.
“According to legend, dragons are carnivores. Let’s try some steak,” said John.
Ben ran to the fridge and got out a large slab of london broil steak and dropped it in the box. The two heads tore at it ferociously.
“Will this thing bite us?” asked Ben.
“We just gave it food so I think it knows we’re its friend. Let me try something.” John slowly lowered his hand into the box to pet it on the head. It made no aggressive response but produced a soft guttural sound as John laid his hand on the tiny beast’s head. “There now.”
Suddenly it hopped out of the crate onto the carpet. It scuttled around, looking here and there. The little dragon jumped on a leather couch and dug it claws into it, exposing the soft yellow padding underneath.
“My couch! My seven-hundred dollar couch! Grab the scoundrel!”
The two humans lunged for the dragon but it bounced off and trotted away into the kitchen.
“After it!” shouted John.
The little culprit bounced onto a counter then stopped and began smelling.
John and Ben halted. “On the count of three we go for him. One…Two…Three!” Once again, the creature escaped their clutches and scurried onto the fridge. Suddenly it spewed a puff of black smoke.
“It can’t breathe fire yet and it is good for us. That’s it! This thing is going back to the shop!”
“No dad, please!”
“This little varmint will one day be enormous and dangerous. We will not be able to hide him.”
Ben looked down and sighed. “I understand.” He paused. “How do we catch it?”
“I have a plan. We’ll bate it with some meat that we will toss into the bathroom, then slam the door when he goes for it.”
John gingerly put his idea into action and his scheme worked.
“Keep an eye on him. I hope the man knows what to do.”
John returned to the shop with a fuming face. “YOU! You tricked me! No normal person could raise a dragon. I want a refund.”
“Very well. Use this,” the man said as he gave John a small horn. “Blow this horn and the dragon will fall asleep.”
“Then it goes right back to your shop,” John said, raising his voice.
John hastily arrived home with the horn lying on the passenger’s seat. He grabbed it and barged through the front door and blew the small magical instrument. John could hear the dragon collapse. He opened the bathroom door to find the little monster splayed on the ground. He picked it up and placed the creature back in the box and nailed it shut.
“You know dad, if we had been living in medieval times we could’ve gotten away with it.”
“I think I’d take life just as it is. Happy Birthday son.”