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I'm Not My Brother's Keeper, I Just Keep His Pets
3-28-02

Many years ago, when I was... oh... around ten or eleven years old, one of my older brothers bought a bunny rabbit for Easter. It was an adorable dwarf rabbit, white with tan spots. My brother was about fifteen or sixteen at the time, and despite his ghoulish horror film preferences, he was a real softy when it came to cute, cuddly little animals. He named the bunny P.B. -- short for Playboy Bunny. (Hey, he was a teenage boy. What do you expect?)

Unfortunately, P.B. wasn't really a dwarf rabbit, and soon grew to be about twenty pounds of fur and blubber. I've never seen such a huge rabbit -- he had frickin' double chins! My brother was no longer able to keep the no-longer-little bunny in a cage in his bedroom. A rabbit of that size creates quite a pile of poo, which in turn creates quite a pungent aroma. Besides, my brother was just getting to that age where he could learn to drive, and started realizing that girls don't have cooties. Fuzzy bunnies don't have as much appeal as a set of wheels, or a set of boobies.

So... guess who "inherited" the rabbit? Yep. His baby sister Lorina. Even though the rabbit wasn't the nicest pet in the world, I loved him and cared for him. When I say he wasn't very nice, I mean the thing was ferocious. He growled at me, especially when he was hungry. Only my quick reflexes kept me from being clawed and bitten on several occasions.

A year or two later, my brother, not being one to learn his lesson the first, second, third, or fourth time, brought home a duckling. Yes. A duckling. Keep in mind that while we live in a small town, it's not exactly zoned for farm animals. Why my parents let my brother get away with this shit is still a mystery to me. Little Quackers, as the duck was called, was kept in a large aquarium in my brother's room (not full of water or anything), until he grew so large that he could leap out of his confines. There's a reason ducks are kept on farms, and not in bedrooms. Did you ever step in duck shit in your bare feet? Did you ever try to clean it out of carpets? Not pleasant experiences, let me tell you.

So.. guess who "inherited" the duck? Yep. Me again. At least the duck was a nicer pet than the rabbit. Quackers would follow me around like a puppy. She'd wait for me outside the back door, and only let me pet her. She even did this cute thing where she'd stick her neck out and lay down so I could scratch her back. She was a great duck.

Something you may find useful some day. No matter how muddy a duck is, do not give them a bath with people soap. You know that phrase "like water off a duck's back?" The reason water rolls off is because of the oil on their feathers. Wash that oil off, and you have one waterlogged, unhappy duck.

Years went by, and my brother met a sweet young thing and got engaged. They got an apartment together, and decided they wanted a puppy. You know how I said my brother never learns? Well, he and his sweetie bought a puppy, Chester, but their lease didn't allow pets, so he wanted to keep it at our parents' house, one mile away. He said they couldn't take the dog back, because they got him at the SPCA and they'd put him to sleep. "We'll come by every day to feed it and take care of it." My parents fell for it, but we later found out the pup was from a pet store. His future wife (now ex-wife) did come by every day, but to lounge in my parents' pool for a few hours and work on her tan, not to take care of Chester.

I guess you know where this is going now. Guess who's name ended up on Chester's dog license? Yep. Me again.

A few more years went by, and my brother and his then-wife had a baby boy.

And I wouldn't go near the damn thing.

 

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