The Neighbor’s Pet

Editor’s note: This is an interactive, writing prompt.

I recently moved in to a new house in a well to-do neighborhood, across the way from a cheery elementary school. Our neighbors — Rita and Greg — with their skinny, runner’s legs and their eco-friendly car were also pretty sweet and unimposing. Until recently.

I had met them a couple times when getting the mail or pulling into the driveway but that night they had invited me over for dinner. Upon arriving at their house, everything seemed as it should — straight out of a high-end furniture catalog. Small talk centered around that and how lovely their home was until Greg cleared his throat.

    “We’re so glad you have moved in and we’re becoming friends.”

    “Here! Here!” said I, with a couple of glasses in.

    “And isn’t it wonderful how friends are there for one another, when they really need you.”

    “Amen!” I went on, this time as I raised my glass.

    “If you ever needed anything from us, please know you can always count on us.”

    “Same here, buddy. Same here,” I was being poured another glass of the savory red wine.

    “That makes us so happy to hear. You see, Rita and I have a trip that was kind of sprung on us and it would mean so much to us if we could ask a favor of you,” he continued on as I drank copiously. “We have a new pet, Roger, and we can’t get him kenneled.”

    “Well, I don’t think that would be a problem,” I said.

The very next morning, with a ringing in my head and at the door, I found Greg and Rita beside a little crate.

    “You leave this morning?” How did they leave this little detail out?

    “Yea, we told you that.”

    “Did you?” I ushered them in. “I guess I don’t remember that. So this is Roger?”

    “This is the little guy,” and Greg opened the crate’s door only nothing happened.

No Roger came out.

    “He can be a little shy,” Greg touted as he pulled out a packet of snacks from his pocket and waved them at the entrance of the crate.

Noticing the green bite-sized treat, Roger came storming out.

    “What the hell is that?!” How incredible of a hangover was this? A miniature rhinoceros was sitting, almost dog like, on my floor. His horn bobbing up and down as he chewed on the treat.

“This is Roger,” Rita said so matter-of-fact that my eyes nearly popped out as I rolled them.

    “You have a baby rhinoceros? How do you even get one of these?”

    “Actually, he’s fully grown.”

    “You never mentioned that you had a rhino!”

    “Thank you so much for watching him,” Rita said as she looked at her watch. “Greg, we have to go. The plane leaves in 45 minutes.”

    “Wait a minute –”

    “Thanks again! You’re the best. We’ll bring you something back from Hawaii.”

    “Hawaii!!!”

And then they left. Roger, the size of a Pekingese, defecating on the tile floor and me wondering how do you care for a mini rhino.


Dumbest thing you ever read? Or, would you like to see a Part Deux? Leave a comment below and any suggestions and I’ll try to incorporate them like those choose your own ending stories that were oh-so-good in middle school. Good times.

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One thought on “The Neighbor’s Pet

  1. With the neighbors off to Hawaii, Roger and I looked at each other. Quiet for a moment. Perhaps this would all turn out right. He would be a magical pet that was more human than animal and we would enjoy jogs in the evenings and then late night TV shows together.

    As I thought of the possibilities, Roger started to graze on the Persian rug that I had recently acquired and as he did so he left droppings behind him. Nope, just a regular dumb animal with a very sharp horn on the front of his face.

    I knew nothing about rhinos and what they ate, what they wanted to do and how we could both spend our time without him destroying the house. It was certainly a conundrum. As I watched him destroy my rug and cursed neighbors for being so misleading, I heard something odd. Extremely out of place.

    “What’s your name?”

    “What?!”

    “I said, what’s your name?”

    “Who said that?” I asked as I walked towards the open windows. Were the neighbors hanging around and now tormenting me?

    “Me. Uh, Roger. I asked you your name.”

    “What the hell is going on?”

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