Chapter 4: The Alligator Mouse

Happy December! Christmas is right around the corner guys, can you feel it? For anyone thinking about getting themselves or their kids a pet this year for the holidays, I’d say go with a snake.

When we were kids, we had this pet snake, slinky. He was an albino something or other corn snake, and really I only thought he was cool because a) he was pink and b) his jaw was too small to bite me. My mom was 110% against us getting this snake, but when you have two kids that REALLY WANT IT and it’s 3 against 1, it’s not a hard sell. Plus, it was good entertainment for all of the neighborhood kids when we’d feed it. We were so popular.

In the beginning, Slinky ate little baby frozen mice, pinkies. It wasn’t that exciting to be honest. I mean we’ve all had a frozen dinner before- was it really that good? NO. But when Slinky upgraded to live mice- things got serious. Feeding him was supposed to be the coolest thing ever. However, he wasn’t that smart. Sometimes the mice would like sit on top of him and he’d just lay there… is this normal? So, like any antsy kids waiting for animals to attack, we watched him. FOR DAYS.

Now, nine times out of ten, Slinky would eventually eat his mouse. But one time he went a few days without eating, and the Suz decided that it was inhumane to let that ‘poor mouse’ sit in there and starve. So she gave him a saltine cracker. Slinky still wasn’t interested, so after a few more days, we apparently had a pet mouse. The Suz got him a little cage and whatever other crap you need to have a pet mouse and decided that he was no longer dinner, he was now a guest with his own wing in the family room. Thus, he needed a name and became, Petey, The Mouse.

Petey was kind of an asshole, and I mean, can you really blame him? His so called family tried to literally feed him to a snake. Plus, no one but my mom even wanted Petey- we wanted snake food. “See, this is why I didn’t want a snake” she’d say, as if she was proving her point that having Slinky was a terrible idea.

Hello lady, we weren’t the ones that adopted Petey into the family like a new puppy… that’s ALL YOU. You have NO ONE to blame but yourself Suz…

Anyway… someone had to clean Petey’s cage, and despite her instance on keeping the mouse, the Suz was not going to be the one to clean the cage. And, I mean… I clearly wasn’t going to do it. This left two people- Dad and Nick. Maybe dad felt that Nick needed some responsibility in his life, maybe he just was playing his dad card, but he decided that Nick was going to be the one to do it. Except Nick said no. Understandably, Nick was scared that Petey was going to bite him. I mean hell, why WOULDN’T he? We were literally the worst mouse owners ever. [Remind me to tell y’all about the time my mom didn’t take my hamster out of the cage before cleaning the inside of the glass with Windex]. But dad was insistent that Nick needed to clean the cage, and Nick was equally as insistent that he was not sticking his hand in there. So, dad did what any good father would do. Similar to the golf incident, he was going to show Nick just what a baby he was being. “OH, for Christ’s sake, it’s not an alligator, it’s not going to bite you,” he proclaimed as he shoved his hand in that cage. And all be damned if Petey didn’t grab a hold of that mans pinky finger and would NOT. LET. GO.

Dad flung his hand out of the cage, Petey still attached to his finger and was swinging him around cursing and yelling something about ‘ow’ until finally Petey let go.

To be honest, I don’t even remember what happened after that. {When you laugh too hard, you lose track of mice apparently} Like, did Petey run away? Did he eventually die? Did the snake ever eat him? I probably can’t remember because I didn’t care in the slightest. If I wanted a pet mouse, I’d have asked for a pet mouse guys… but I didn’t.

Once again though, my dad was reminded about how incredibly lucky he is to have kids, especially ones that remember these kinds of things well into their 30’s. RIP Petey, where ever you are.

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