By Pierra Calasanz
up everybody, said Teacher Ria, clapping her hands
to get attention. Friday is going to be Pet Day.
You can bring your pets to school and tell us all about
children cheered wildly at this announcement.
have four days to think about what you want to say. If
your pet can do tricks, you might want to show the class
too. We will have prizes for the cutest pet, and the most
responsible owner. So dont forget to bring your
pets on Friday! Teacher Ria said.
once, her class became a beehive, buzzing with the excited
sounds of children talking about their pets. But there
was one voice she didnt hear, and as she looked
around, she saw her most talkative student unusually
quiet. On other days, he always amazed her with his
wrong Patrick? Teacher Ria asked, as she spotted
Patrick all alone in the corner.
wouldnt answer, and continued to pout. Teacher
Ria tried to talk to him but he just turned away. Finally,
she gave up.When
Patricks mommy came to fetch him that day, Patrick
asked, Mom, can we go to the pet shop on the way
As long as you promise not to ask me to buy anything,
answered his mom.
was not allowed to own a pet. His father was allergic
to fur and his mother refused to have something dirty
or noisy running around. But Patrick constantly asked
them for a cat or a dog or even a white mouse.When
they reached the pet shop, Patricks face lit up.
He ran to the dog cages first and pointed to the small,
furry puppies. He squealed in delight at one that was
running around in circles trying to bite its own tail.
I have a dog, Mommy? Patrick asked. Honey,
you know we cant. Your father is allergic to dogs.Patrick
moved to the next cage.How about a cat?
Patrick pointed at the mice and hamsters. Patricks
mom vigorously shook her head.
walked over to the bunnies. He particularly liked a
brown one. Please Mom, Ill take good care
of it and feed it everyday and clean up its mess and
keep it quiet. He wanted a pet so much that Patricks
mom almost gave in to the quiet little bunny, until
she remembered her own bunny that peed in her shoes
and ruined the furniture.
No Patrick, Im sorry. You promised you wouldnt
ask to buy a pet if I took you to the pet shop,
she reminded him.
But Mooom, pleaded Patrick
No. His mom said firmly.
Patrick felt so bad that he did not feel like going
over to the birds and fish anymore. He folded his arms
across his chest and pouted all the way home.
school, Patrick remained quiet and thoughtful and never
joined in his classmates conversations about their pets.
Im going to bring my pet parrot to school,
said Sara. My parrot knows how to say hello and
how are you, she boasted.
Im going to bring my guinea pig Chew-Chew,
said Jim. I named him that because he loves to
My pet lizard is sure to win the cutest pet prize,
boasted Roger the class bully.
Ewww, chorused the other kids.
Whats your pet Patrick? asked Roger.
Patrick pretended he did not hear and concentrated on
his artwork. He felt bad that he didnt have a
pet to show.
finally arrived. Teacher Rias classroom seemed
like a zoo. Above the chattering of the children, one
could hear barks, meows, chirps. There were bunnies
and chicks running all over the place along with the
Ria brought the class to some sort of order and began
the show and tell session. Saras parrot did indeed
know how to say hello and how are you. Christines
poodle knew how to jump loops and obeyed when told to
sit, lie down and roll over. Sams chicks couldnt
do anything except peck at his shoes. But they were
definitely the cutest pets.
it was Patricks turn, he stood in front of the
class and from his backpack pulled out a lion puppet.
His classmates began to laugh.
Patrick doesnt have a real pet, yelled
Patrick started to turn red but Teacher Ria urged him
to go on.
This is my pet lion Mustafa, he began. His
classmates laughed even louder.
Mustafa is king of the jungle, Patrick continued
bravely. But he got tired of taking care of himself.
He came to the city to look for someone who would take
care of him.
There were still the occasional giggles but most of
the children had stopped making fun of Patrick and were
now interested in his story.
tried knocking on many peoples doors but they
were afraid of him. Then, he knocked on my door and
asked me politely if I would take care of him. I said
sure and now, he lives with me. Everyday, Mustafa wakes
me up in the morning by licking my nose. He likes to
make sure I wont be late for school. He likes
to take a bath with me. I
shampoo his hair for him. When we are finished with
our bath, I put on my clothes all by myself and I comb
my hair, then his. I eat my breakfast and share some
of my cereal with him. He especially likes the one with
marshmallows in it. Then I go off to school.
I get home, I take him for a walk in the park. None
of the kids get too near me because he looks fierce
and scary even if he is not. But its okay. When
hes around I have the slide all to myself. Mustafa
loves the jungle bars. He says he feels right at home.
When we get back to the house, I have to follow him
inside with a mop. He forgets to wipe his muddy paws
on the doormat and leaves muddy tracks around the house.
My Mom hates that. And, oh, I have to feed him before
dinner because he roars when he is hungry which is often.
I have to keep him clean and satisfied so he wont
bother my mom. I always have to shoo him off the living
room couch and keep him away from my dad who is allergic
to fur. I make sure I take care of him real well so
my parents will let me keep him. So far hes been
on his best behavior, said Patrick, patting his
puppet on the head for emphasis.
Patrick had told his story so well that the children
almost forgot his pet wasnt real. They all started
it was time to hand out the prizes. Everyone cheered
when Sams chicks won the prize for cutest pets.
Cristines poodle was the most talented pet and
Patrick, to everyones surprise, won the most responsible
Even if Patrick doesnt have a pet,
Teacher Ria said, he showed us how he would take
care of his pet if he did have one. I think he would
have been quite a good master.
Teacher Ria handed Patrick a small fishbowl with several
pretty little fish swimming inside.
eyes widened in delight. Can I keep them?
Of course Patrick! answered Teacher Ria.
I dont think your mom will mind. I had a talk
with her the other day and she said you could have a
pet that wasnt noisy or scary or furry or dirty.
I think shell let you keep these little fish,
as long as take care of them.
Oh I will Teacher Ria! I will! promised
Patrick as he hugged the fishbowl to his chest.