Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Pets or Pests?

Faigy Peritzman

Your children are begging and pleading for a kitten (or hamster, puppy, or rabbit), promising to be the best pet parents ever. Should you succumb to their demands? Or are they more trouble than they’re worth? The perks and problems of owning a pet.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

parrot“Oh Mommy! They’re sooo cute!”

I sighed and looked back into the box. They were cute. The little chicks, covered with yellow fluff, were industriously pecking away at the seeds in their box. One of my sons leaned in and stroked a downy back. “See! He likes me already!” And then came the petition: “Please oh please can we buy them all?”

Summer vacation had just started. I envisioned my boys industriously building a chicken coop, watering, feeding … and leaving me in peace.

“All right. We’ll take four,” I said, capitulating against my better judgment. “But remember, you’re in charge of them.”

Amidst the cheers of glee, my stipulation went unheard. As I watched my boys enthusiastically heft the carton of chicks to the car, a little voice inside my head warned, You’re going to regret this.

Sure enough, within days the visitors had lost their novelty. Chicken feathers drifted through the kitchen window and, as the afternoon heat rose, so did the odor from the improvised chicken coop.

“Could someone clean out the coop?” I demanded.

“It’s not my turn!” the bickering started.

By the time the chicks were a week old, their fluffy feathers were gone. They had morphed into decidedly uncute pets with protruding beaks and haunting beady eyes that followed me while I (yes, I) cleaned their living quarters. Against vehement protests, I called my friend who lives on a moshav and made arrangements to bring the chickens there.

“They’re going to kill them! Shecht them!” screeched my son. “You can’t kill pets. They’re ours!”

“Pets are only yours if you take responsibility for them. In this case, I became responsible so I am deciding how to care for them.”

Later that night, as I tucked my four-year-old into bed, he pitifully bemoaned the chicken’s fate and insisted that he’d never eat schnitzel again.

So much for a summer’s worth of fun.

 

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha. To sign up for a weekly subscription click here.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
Using Our Free Will Effectively
Yonoson Rosenblum The image we carry of ourselves is key
Pitcher-Perfect
Eytan Kobre The ripple effects of one Jew’s kiddush Sheim Shamayim
Living the High Life
Rabbi Avrohom Neuberger It is exhilarating to matter, to be truly alive
It’s Time for Us to Speak Up
Rabbi Dovid Eliezrie We must speak out proudly for the values of Yiddishkeit
Kiruv Is Not Dead
Rabbi Meir Goldberg Do these sound like uninspired or closed students?
Frosting on the Cake
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman “Let’s not let a missing chocolate cake ruin our siyum!”
A Warm Corner in Flatbush
Yosef Zoimen It was a simple shul with a choshuve leader
Out of Control
Jacob L. Freedman “That’s illegal, Dr. Fine. I can’t have a part in this”
Song of Reckoning in the Skulener Court
Riki Goldstein “It’s awe-inspiring to watch the Rebbe sing this song”
“U’teshuvah, U’tefillah, U’tzedakah”
Riki Goldstein Throughout the Yamim Noraim, three words accompany us
The Rebbe Held His Gaze
Riki Goldstein A moment etched in Reb Dovid Werdyger’s memory forever
The Road Taken
Faigy Peritzman In the end it’s clear who really merits true happiness
Sincere Apology
Sarah Chana Radcliffe A heartfelt and complete apology can turn things around
Power Pack of Mercy
Mrs. Shani Mendlowitz The 13 Attributes of Mercy are “an infinite treasure”
The Appraiser: Part II
D. Himy M.S. CCC-SLP, and Zivia Reischer “Eli needs to see people who struggled to achieve”