Well, hello there! How is everybody doing? I hope school is treating you well! Keep working hard!

This month’s topic is about keeping pets, specifically about keeping exotic pets. I guess that everyone imagines a dog or cat, maybe even a hamster1 when they hear the word “pet.” I do too, so when someone tells me they have a pet and they bring out a tarantula, I naturally freak out2. Call me old fashioned, but I cannot connect with a poisonous, hand-sized, eight-legged, big-toothed furry3 monster as much as I can connect with a cute puppy.

Do you own a pet? If so, is it exotic? I confess that when I was smaller, I did own quite a few out of the norm pets. We used to go lizard hunting4 when we were at our cottage, so we brought a few lizards home (mostly because of me). In the summer we went outside to catch some grasshoppers5 for them, but during the winter we went to the pet store to buy them the insects they needed. Surprisingly, they held on for a very long time, before, they sadly committed suicide6.

I try not to let it get to me, but in thinking back to those things, most of the animals I owned committed suicide or died tragically. Please don’t judge me.
The fi rst lizard jumped from its tank into a fi sh tank where we kept frogs (awesome pets), while the other…. I’m not completely sure, but I think it jumped out of the window. The frogs left naturally – they must have, because I don’t remember any trauma when they disappeared.
One of the normal pets we owned was my guinea pig7 named Ginny. When we went to buy her, she was the only snow white pig out of the gray, black, ginger and spotted piggies in the pet store. We had her for three years, before she died from liver cancer. That was the fi rst time in my life I learned that animals could have cancer of any kind. It would’ve been less sad if she hadn’t died on my birthday. I was kind of a Bad Luck Brian with my pets.
Our last pet was and still is a tiny Yorkshire terrier named Goyo. He’s been with us for ten years, and I hope he will be with us for much longer.

What kind of exotic pet would you like to have or would you not like to have? I would be really happy if I could have a pet monkey– like a little one that would sit on my shoulder and eat bananas and then fling8 the banana peels at people I don’t like. That would be pretty awesome, but at the same time, it would be impossible to have. I’ve seen people on TV who owned monkeys as pets, but a lot of those people really didn’t know what to do with their money, so they probably thought: “Hey! Let’s buy a monkey!” (Okay, a lot of exotic pet owners probably said the same thing before buying a monkey/pig/snake/ spider/scorpion, etc.). Plus, I have a feeling my bad luck would re-surface, and I would get a fi erce, untamable9 monkey that would harass10 me and bite off my ears when I would try to put it on my shoulder. So I have put that dream on the back burner11. Hey, maybe when I’m rich.
Another pet I would’ve loved to own could be one of those small Asian piglets — the Vietnamese or Chinese ones, I am not sure now. My mom almost allowed it, but then I talked about it with my dad. Well, here is how the dialogue went:
Me: Daddy?
Dad: Yes?
Me: What would you do…if I brought home a piggy?
Dad: EAT IT!
Me: B-but Dad…what if it was a live pig?
Dad: Eat it for dinner!
Me: Dad! I mean, I mean, like a pet piggy!
Dad: …Eat if for dinner AND lunch!

You can imagine my running out of our apartment crying, while hearing my dad’s psychopathic12 laughter behind me (okay, maybe this last part isn’t true, but you get me, right?). Thus ends the story of me getting a pig.
I thought of owning a pet hedgehog13, but after the experience with the lizards I caught, the thought of another wild pet puts me off .
Another pet I wouldn’t mind having would be a snake, but I’m afraid it would be dangerous for my dog; he would get eaten for breakfast.
On the other hand, the list of what I wouldn’t want to have contains animals with an excessive14 number of arms/legs. So, topping off the list would be spiders. No, I don’t care that its poison sac15 has been taken out, I don’t care that it has been trained to bring the morning newspaper; it has eight eyes and legs and it’s armed with itchy16 hair, and it can still bite me and crawl under my clothes and OHMYGODOHMYGOD…. Let’s go to the next animal please.
Coming in second place would be a scorpion, though after the fi lm “King Scorpion” and “Return of the Mummy” (the directors like to pair up The Rock with scorpions), it seems to be a pretty awesome animal that would grant you superpowers.
And no, spiders don’t have that plus anymore, because I was already bitten by a spider, and I didn’t become Spiderman. Enough said.
Basically, anything that has the chance of injuring me with a sting or bite is on that list (my dog doesn’t count because his teeth would fall out if he bit me harder with the intention of hurting me), with the exception of baby tigers, lions, pandas and bears. Because honestly, who wouldn’t want to have their own baby panda?
I think I’ve written enough about this topic, but hey! Talk about it in class. Or you know, just pretend you’re reading this. Take a break, guys.

Niamh McCullough

Vocabulary:1škrečok – křeček; 2byť zarazený, vyvedený z miery – být zaražený, vyvedený z míry; 3chlpatý – chlupatý; 4chytať jašterice – chytat ještěrky; 5kobylka, lúčny koník – luční koník; 6spáchať samovraždu – spáchat sebevraždu; 7morča – morče; 8hodiť, švihnúť – hodit, švihnout; 9divoký neskrotný – divoký nezkrotný; 10trápiť – trápit; 11odložit, odsunúť na neskôr – odložit, odsunout na později; 12/saik∂pæθik/ psychopatický; 13ježko – ježek; 14nadmerný, prílišný – nadměrný, přílišný; 15vak; 16šteklivý – lechtivý