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Pet's Regrets

by Paul M. Carhart

It was autumn. The wind was strong on this day and seemed to carry the voices from the barn straight to me. My ears twitched and I rolled my eyes in disgust, irritated to have my midmorning nap interrupted.

I was curled up in a ball on the shady side of the tractor shed, which was a good distance from the barn, and yet the voices, one of which I recognized as my pet's, still reached me.

Billy, my pet, was usually raking hay or doing some other useless chore at this time of the day. But today, I could tell that something was amiss.

So, I decided to go see what had disrupted my nap. After all, it was my responsibility to look after the well being of my pet.

I stood slowly, stretching my four legs out in all directions, giving my thick brown coat a quick shake. As I left the tractor shed, I realized that the sun was not even out. I could have taken my nap anywhere and not been disturbed! The temptation to forget my pet and saunter off into the field almost sidetracked me. But no, my sense of duty forced me to see what was going on in the barn, despite the call of the wild.

I reached the barn and took in the familiar scents. I knew Billy was not alone before I could even see him. His father was talking to him in a grim voice. I perked my ears up and moved in closer. Although I couldn't understand the words, my association with humans had given me the ability to get the gist of a conversation from the tone of the dialogue and I was ready to bet my tail that something important would be happening on the farm soon.

My pet's father hurriedly strode off and I scampered up to Billy's side.

"Hi, Rusty," Billy said, giving me a good hearty rub behind my ears.

I wagged my tail. Billy usually talked to me when we were alone and I had gotten to the point where I could understand much of it. I hoped he would fill me in now.

Billy stooped down and grabbed me affectionately behind both ears. "Rusty, old boy, you're gonna have to find Merry and bring her back to the barn. I've got to go round up the chickens and we've only got a few minutes before the tornado will strike."

I was a bit dismayed at this turn of events. My personal feelings towards Merry were not of the highest caliber.

It was enough that I didn't like cats and never had, but Merry was not just another cat! She was picky about her food, her bed, her fur, and worst of all... she was irresponsible. She never did anything for my pet or his family. I could see no reason why my pet continued to feed her!

However, my pet was right. We could not leave her out in the storm.

I panted in acknowledgment, not wanting the ear rub to end. But I knew I could not say "no" to my pet.

Luckily, I had seen Merry sleeping near the cornfield earlier on, probably hoping to snatch herself a careless crow. It would be a simple matter to wake her up and warn her of the situation. I wasted no time and headed for the cornfield.

Sure enough, there was Merry, lazily sleeping the day away.

"Merry," I began. Her ear twitched so I knew she heard me. "Merry, you must come with me back to the barn. A storm is brewing and I am sure you do not want to be caught in it."

The cat lifted her gray head and focused her steely eyes on me. "Oh really?" she purred, shifting position and resting her head back down on one of her paws. She squinted her eyes; still keeping them locked on me. "What makes you think that I am in danger? I can take care of myself."

I cocked an ear at her statement, knowing it for the falsehood that it was. As lazy as she was, I surmised she would starve to death if it were not for my pet's kindness.

"Be that as it may," I snorted profoundly. "I am not here of my own accord. My pet is concerned for your safety."

Merry grinned mischievously. "Tell your pet, if you can, that I have no need of his mothering. I need not prepare myself for this gentle breeze."

That was the last straw. The wind was ruffling my coat more than I liked and I was looking forward to the company of my pet upon my return. I trotted back the way I had come, not bothering to look behind me.

When I returned to the barn, Billy was waiting for me and I could not fight off the guilt I was feeling as his eyes scanned the yard behind me. I had let him down. He continued to look for Merry for as long as his father would let him, but to no avail.

I never saw Merry again after that storm and I must admit that I did indeed feel a pang of sorrow on that day. However, my feelings were not for the ungrateful feline, but for my mournful pet who never knew how little she had appreciated him.



As a lifelong Disney fan, Paul always loved Lady and the Tramp. In the Disney film, much of the language utilized a dog's point of view (Lady's owners were Jim Dear and Darling).

Paul wondered what it would be like to write a short story from a dog's point of view. This story is the result.


  © 1992 Paul M. Carhart, all rights reserved, all media.