by J.L. O'Dell
A story of a little girl who wants something special for her birthday. The Bard's Hall.
| Honorable Mention
Bard's Hall (WC908)
“Daddy, are you busy?” My little munchkin asked as she entered my office. I worked from my home as an IT security advisor. Since Aimee’s mom passed away, I spent as much time as I could at home. I didn’t want her raised by a nanny.
“Always have time for you. What’s on your mind?” She was a sharp little girl and I never knew what to expect. Her mother would be proud of how her little girl was growing up. At four years old, Aimee kept me on my toes.
“My birthday is pretty soon, and I know what I want. So, Daddy just say yes. OK?”
“What am I saying yes too?” I asked my smiling, little angle as she swayed back and forth.
“I want a pet. OK, just say yes.” She stood in front of me, blond curls framing her face, waiting for my answer.
“Daddy, I promise to feed it and take good care of it. I really, really will. And it can sleep in my room. So, OK? Please.”
I couldn’t resist how cute she was as she stood in front of me wringing her hands waiting for an answer. I was curious as to why she hadn’t mentioned what type of pet we were talking about. I smelled a rat. Oh God, please don’t say rat. No rats.
“Before I answer, what kind of pet do you want. A dog?”
“No.” She answered shaking her head.
“Must be a cat then.” She smelled still shaking her head no. Please, not a rat.
“OK, I give up. What are you thinking of as a pet?” She smelled coyly swinging her arms back and forth.
“I want a giraffe. And I’ll feed it and give it water and lots of love. And Mr. Giraffe, that’s what I’m going to call him, can sleep in my room on my bed. And I’ll get up early so I can take him outside to pee. Please, please Daddy. It will be so much fun.”
“No, Daddy listen. I’ll do everything for the Mr. Giraffe. You don’t have to do anything. Please, please. Everything.” She rocked back and forth on her heels. Her little face beaming with her best grin despite the two missing front teeth. The Tooth Fairy got those recently.
“But, sweetie, you can’t keep a giraffe in your room. It will be too big. And I think it sleeps standing up, not on a bed.”
“That’s ok. I can tie him outside and we can play in the yard and I can ride him. And I’ll pick up after him and you don’t have to do anything because I know you’re so busy. So, Daddy, just say yes and we can go to the pet store and get one. You don’t have to wait for my birthday. And, and …. I really want Mr. Giraffe.”
“Don’t say no, Daddy. Mr. Giraffe is all I want. And it is my birthday, so don’t I get to pick? Just this once. I said I’ll do everything. So, can we go?”
“Aimee, sweetie, what are we going to do with Mr. Giraffe? What will he eat? I think they eat leaves.” I saw that she was determined and knew this was going to be a hard one. I wanted her fifth birthday to be special, but not this special.
“Can we what?” I knew where this was going.
“Can we go get him? And Mr. Wilson across the street has lots of trees so Mr. Giraffe can eat in his back yard. And Mr. Wilson will be happy because he won’t have to rake leaves. And I’ll be happy because I can ride over there and back on Mr. Giraffe and we’ll have fun everyday and I’ll work hard to take care of him and you don’t have to worry or do anything. So, can we go?” She was staring a hole through my skull at this point.
“Please, please, please. Daddy, I love you.”
“No, Daddy. I told you. Daddy, Daddy listen to me. Listen. I want a giraffe and I have all this done in my head. I’ll take care of him and feed him, and I’ll pick up all his poo and everything. And Mr. Wilson will love Mr. Giraffe for taking care of his leaves. And all the kids can come over and pet Mr. Giraffe and he won’t be lonely because I’ll give him lots of love. And, and …”
She was running out of steam. Aimee took a few deep breathes and was geared up and ready with the rest of her winning argument when I broke out laughing at the thought of a giraffe in the neighborhood. I’m sorry but the image just cracked me up for some reason.
“What’s funny? Did I make a funny?” I think she was confused by my laughter.
“I was thinking of what it would look like to the neighbors to have a giraffe in the backyard looking over the top of our house. That’s all.”
“Yeah, that would be kinda funny and weird. But I still want a giraffe. But maybe a stuffed one so it’s not so much work. I am small you know.” There was her mother showing up again.
“Ok, deal. How big?”
Aimee stood on her toes and stretched her arms up over her head as far as she could reach.
“This big, Daddy.”
Prompt: Child wants a pet for a birthday gift. Attempts to convince parent(s) by stating how well the pet will be cared for. 01/2019