Short story about an owner of a ferret as she tries to tempt him out of his shell.
|“Hey little buddy.” I whisper to the cage. “Why won’t you come out?”|
I shake the cage lightly, and I hear a familiar squeak from the darkness of a hollowed out rock in the left corner. My eyes light up and sparkle as the prospect of Murry finally coming from his rock excites me. I step back, arms ready to pump the air in glory. Alas, it’s not the time for victory just yet. The wood chips remain the same as they always are.
The little guy hiding away inside the rusty steel cage is my pet ferret, Murry. He’s a gentle, kind creature that hasn’t left his rock for years. Even though I haven’t seen his fuzzy face, I can remember his look just from memory, almost as if it’s only been a minute ago since the last time I laid eyes on him.
His long body was the same carry as wet dirt, and it was as unkempt as dirt too. White stripes wrapped parallel across his back along the same path as his spine. The black fur ended at his neck as it was immediately replaced by a white face. However, around the eyes and nose, was a heart shaped mask the same color as his body fur. It looked like he was ready to rob a bank in style.
I could see it happening too. He stands on his two legs, manifests a Glock from thin air as he waddles to the nearest bank. He’d then ask the bank teller in a squeaky high voice to put all the money in the small bag he was carrying in his tiny little paws. The bank teller would smile and brush it off as a joke, then be popped full of lead until the police comes to chain up a psychotic ferret.
I could see it now in all its glory.
I stretch my legs out on my makeshift bed as I prepare breakfast. For me it was just leftovers from yesterday. A half eaten burger that I got from the restaurant across the street. The cashier waved me off as they handed me the bag. If I wasn’t saving up money for my next big venture, I would’ve tipped them handsomely for being so nice.
For Murry, he only deserves the best of ingredients. I grabbed a bag from the side of my bed, and shook it. A familiar coo of excitement leaves the cage as Murry scurries around, sending wood chips flying out of the rock. Inside the bag was premium cat food that I feed him twice a day.
I scoop a handful of the food and open the cage. Nothing leaves from the rock. I place the food inside a food bowl right next to Murry’s home and close the cage door. I wait patiently for the event to happen. My eyes were glued onto the cage for any sign of Murry possibly leaving his rock.
I could see movement in the darkness, and I open my mouth, excited breaths escaping my throat. What comes out of the darkness is a small, itty bitty witty hand that was so adorable I could burst into tears from its adorableness. It grabs onto the side of the bowl, and drags it in, knocking a bit of food onto the ground. The wood chips moved slightly, but Murry’s face is still nowhere to be found.
I smile and lay back down in bed and turn to the cage, hoping that I could somehow see Murry in this position. It wasn’t possible to see him completely, but I could see the outline of him gorging himself on the food. He ate hastily and with so much vigor it was like he hadn’t eaten in days.
I sit back up and stretch out my back. All of a sudden, my brain decided now was a good time to feel sad. Why does feeling sad come out of nowhere, and why does it feel like it just slammed into me with a sock full of cement. I rub my face and pat my cheeks, and a smile reemerges on my face. But it slowly disappears, and the sadness continues.
If I want to get rid of this sadness there’s one thing I have to do. I bend over the side of my bed and stick my hand under the frame. I claw at the floor for a few seconds, until my palm touches something under there. Wrapping my hand around it, I drag it out from the darkness and see it.
Even though it shows signs of wear with black marks, tears, and a few holes, the photo album is still in remarkable condition. I flip to the first page and see a young me, blowing out a birthday cake. Although the picture was partially burnt so the candle wasn’t visible, I could tell it was my tenth birthday.
I flip to the next few pages. Most of them are gone, the only trace of their existence being their burnt edges. I’m much older in the next picture and with me is my first ever pet. I flip through the pages again, and I realize how much of my life has vanished. But at least one of them stayed.
Untouched and clean, I found a picture of me standing next to my husband. We’re both smiling, and on our shoulders, are two ferrets. One’s on his right shoulder, and the other’s on my left. They cuddled each other, like they were learning from us.
I hear a scuffle from the cage, and I turn to see Murry poking his face out slightly. Tears well up in my eyes, and I wrap the cage in my arms. This time Murry doesn’t flee, and he stares at my teary eyed face.
Murry, Dave may be gone, and so is Mable, but together, we can keep each other company. I love you, Murry.