Years ago I told the gardener, “One cat is enough. Drown those kittens.”
Indifferent, he pulled them from the mother and fetched the bucket.
We watched them struggling in the chill water, pansy faces upturned, soft mitts flailing, frantic squeals dying away.
So long ago, but it haunts me still.
Catherine Mathews is a State Department retiree formerly stationed overseas in Paris, Rome, Tel Aviv, Athens, Frankfurt, and Istanbul. She is now living in Northern Virginia and writing about her life.
James believes that animals don’t think ahead and simply allow things to happen.
Certain neighborhood dogs do seem to meet up at the same place at the same time each day. Their sheer punctuality has made James question as to whether he may be barking up the wrong tree.
Linda Nathaniel is a teacher from Sydney, Australia, who has had poems published in both Hemispheres and seen her play go from page-to-stage.
He revels in his mystic communion with wildlife.
Birds perch on his wrist and peck birdseed from his palm. A skunk visits his porch nightly to be petted. He hand-feeds squirrels, raccoons, rabbits, even deer.
Their trust in him is a blessing. He’s having rabbit stew tonight and venison tomorrow.
Alex Markovich lives in a suburb of New York with Jackie, his wife of 57 years and his toughest literary critic. His stories have appeared in 50-Word Stories, Blue Lake Review, Halfway Down the Stairs, Still Crazy, and other lit mags.
“Man, you’re SUCH a bummer.”
“I am? I didn’t realize… I thought you invited me on this live animal capturing expedition because you enjoyed my company.”
“I do! But, see, when I tag the animals, I shoot the dart into their shoulders… Why do you keep aiming for their rumps?”
This story was based on the prompt “bummed out” at TypeTrigger.
Venus came home to chaos.
“What is going on!?”
“Hi, honey!” said her husband, Chris, standing behind a hutch with their daughter on his shoulders. “Tina and I bought a few bunnies!”
“Well, we took two, but by the time we got home there were a bunch more…”
This story is based on a title suggested by @TsukiakariUsagi.
A dog fell in a hole. The hole was very deep.
“Help! Help!” cried the dog.
“I will help you,” said a cat. It reached into the hole, but the dog barked and frightened it away.
It never pays to be mean to cute kitties. Kitties are great. Yay kitties!
A mouse lived inside my walls. I tried to feed it cheese and peanut butter and other tasty things.
“I cannot take your gifts, sir,” it said. “I am afraid you will trap me!”
I convinced it I wouldn’t. We became friends.
A small problem: my rodent-phobic wife found out.
This story is based on a title suggested by @eikoandmog
They stood by the charred crater that had been their home and listened to the wind.
It told them, You’ve been hard done by.
It said, They had no right.
It whispered, Independence is our destiny.
It commanded, Hoist the New Antland flag, stand tall, and let the humans come.
“Pick a pig,” said the farmer. “Oh, Pig 3’s half price.”
Suzanna surveyed the oinking, grunting shapes wallowing in the sty. “Are you sure they’re all actually pigs?”
“‘Course I’m sure. I ain’t no swindler!”
“I only ask,” said Suzanna, “because Pig 3 looks like a stump with a tape recorder.”
This story is based on a title suggested by Michelle Sevenhuysen via Facebook.
Gazelle raised her royal head. “Having overcome the Lioness, our foe, you will now be granted your reward.”
Rhino nodded graciously. “I thank thee,” he rumbled.
Gazelle signalled Monkey, who draped a necklace of brown jasper around Rhino’s prodigious neck.
Rhino smiled softly. The stones matched his lovely Lioness’s eyes.