(Quick note: I have clearly abandoned all intentions of continuing this as any kind of regular blog about anything. I have no great systems on organizing, cooking, parenting or friendships to share with the world. Actually, I have no systems at all really. But, I do occasionally write weird essays for just myself. Sometimes they make me laugh or happy. Since I already have this space, I figured I would just start posting them here.
And, I mention this later, but I want to make sure you know upfront that my parents are completely in the clear on the following dead pet story.)
Growing up in a pretty rural area, as I have, it should probably come as no surprise that I have had my fair share of pets over the years. Which means I have also had my fair share of dead pets.
There was Goldie, the fish who bravely leapt out of his tank… and to his own death.
There was Billie, the goat who I was led to believe went to live out its days on a farm but, was later told by one of my dad’s less well-intentioned friends, “made really good mutton.”
There was Jo, the chicken who really did live out her days on a farm happily producing eggs until old age got her.
And of course, there have been cats and dogs in large numbers who crossed that rainbow bridge from varying afflictions. Let’s just say that if I poured a drink out for each of them, well, there would be a lot of wasted drinks.
However, out of all my dead pets none of them have quite as tragic of a story as Moley.
Well, for starters, Moley the mole was already dead when I got him.
Yep. You may be thinking, “wait, did I read that right?”
Oh, I assure you. You did.
I had a dead mole. As a pet. Obviously not for long.
(Before you question my parents in any of this, please know that they were not aware of Moley’s existence until, um… he did not exist anymore. My grandmother was the only one who knew I had Moley, and I still wonder to this day why she let a small child carry around a dead rodent and didn’t intervene, but that’s a topic for another day.)
I am still unsure of exactly how Moley and I came together, and if I realized that Moley was in fact already dead, but I remember us having a great day. We made clover chains, picked pretty flowers, played in the grass and had lunch. All the things a young girl and her pet dead mole dream of doing together. (I wish part of this memory included me wearing protective gloves, but alas, it does not.)
After Moley and I had enough clover bracelets to satisfy us, I remember thinking that I knew who else needed to join in on this day of fun: my grandmother’s dog Bear! Oh, Bear would be the perfect third to help us form a trio of fun! What could go wrong? I’d have my two best friends and more fun than you could shake a dead mole at. I put Moley in his basket and off we went for the big introduction.
(Now, some of you may have already figured out what’s probably going to happen when you present a dead mole to a large hunting dog. At this young age, I had not and therefore was not at all prepared for what happened next.)
I bounded down the hill hoping to get the introductions out of the way quickly so Moley, Bear and I could squeeze every bit of fun out of the day before sunset started and I had to go indoors. I called Bear over, gently took Moley out of his traveling basket, held him in my outstretched hands and …
Bear ate him. Immediately. One large sweeping bite. Right out of my hands. And right in front of my tiny eyes.
Mine and Moley’s day of fun was now a day of terror and death and, well, more death.
I remember sobbing and screaming and at this point my grandmother had no choice but to step in and chastise me for feeding her dog that disgusting thing and getting my shirt dirty in the process.
Sufficiently traumatized, I played it safer with my next pet choice after learning that even a dead pet could be killed and went with … a pet coconut.
It was also eaten in time. Just in a less tragic manner.