My little sister wanted yet another dog to keep as pet after the passing of Liebfraumilch our last dog. I prayed my mum would not succumb to her incessant pleas and drive over to her friend’s whose dog birth puppies in alarming multiples almost bi-annually. Well, maybe that’s sort of exaggerated but at twelve, that was the way I saw it. I was not keen about being Liebfraumilch nanny of which mum insisted. C’mon, at that age I felt unfairly burdened with such chore! And to top it, the cheeky dog would only come near me when it felt hunger pangs.
Anyway, my prayers got answered and mum out-rightly refused to get another dog. I watched my little sister bemoan mum for days which I think forced mum to come up with the idea of her having some other kind of animal as pet. She opted for snails and I felt such relief! At least, at her little age, she was capable of throwing them spinach without my help. So, she got four snails.
Everyday, as soon as we were home from school, I’d watch my little sister run over to her makeshift box pen and feed them more spinach. The soil in the box pen at this point had become a fine blend of green and dark. At times she hosed them down saying she was giving them a shower but I was just too glad I didn’t have to get involved at all.
Every morning, before leaving for school, my little sister would go check on her snails and I really didn’t like the fact that I had to wait impatiently for her to get the nonsense routine over with. However I noticed it had become habitual for her to forget to put the wire mesh lid on her makeshift box pen. This resulted in several escape attempts by one of the four snails. On one particular morning, I heard her yelling from the backyard ‘Emergency! Emergency!! One is escaping!!!
Though I resented the idea of getting involved with the snails, I helped her rescue the bailing snail. Somehow, the frequency of this occurrence increased and slowly I became her snail rescue guard though deep down I began to secretly wish they all make the great escape.
Well, one day we got back from school to discover a baby snail in the pen. Apparently, there was a married couple in the pen! Of course, she forgot to place the lid on the box pen before retiring for the evening that night. Guess what? By the morning, papa & mama snail together with baby snail were long gone never to be seen again!
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“Craft a story from the perspective of a twelve-year-old observing it all. For your twist, focus on specific character qualities, drawing from elements we’ve worked on in this course, like voice and dialogue.”