The Catalyst

A Writing Teacher Writes (plus some writing prompts and recipes)

Pets Tell the Story October 1, 2013

Filed under: Craft,Short Stories/Short Shorts,Writing Prompts + — Christopher P. DeLorenzo @ 3:41 am




The prompt this time is one I call, “Pets Tell the Story,” and is a POV (point of view) exercise. Here’s how it goes:

Begin with a list of pets you have known, yours or others’. (Note: these don’t have to be pets you particularly liked, but ones you have known, even superficially).

Simply name them.

Now choose two and make a few notes about their attitude, general personality, and something these pets might say: an expression or a comment. Choose one of these animal characters and write in his or her voice. Tell us what it’s like to live in the place he or she lives, and what he or she thinks of the human he or she lives with. Be as serious or as playful as you like.

What I wrote is below.


Is it time to eat? Is it time to eat yet? Eat? Eat? Oh! You want love? You just want love? Okay. Love, love, love, love, love. I’m stretching, stretching, stretching up. Oh, it’s hard work to wake up. Come on down here for kisses instead. Warm morning kisses. Love, love, love, love, love. My mouth is dry. Let me lick my chops. Come back for more now. Love, love, love, love, love.

He plays the TV too loud in the morning. And he burns the toast. That stinks. But he cracks an egg for me sometimes, fries it up, and breaks it into little pieces. Then I crawl out of bed for breakfast. Eat eat, eat, eat, eat. Then back to bed. Sleep. Ah. The TV finally off; he’s gone. Deep, deep late morning sleep.

At noon my walker arrives. I love him. Martin. He comes to the gate at the kitchen door and I’m up shakin’, shakin’, shakin’ this bulldog booty for this handsome man.

“Good morning my dear one,” he says, stepping over the gate, squatting down to kiss me. Love, love, love, love, love. Then he lets me out the back door, and I run down the steps to pee. Ahhh. I should have gone this morning, but I was so sleepy and he was running late. He’s always running late. Late, late, late, late. He’s always late. But Martin’s always on time, and he always lets me out. Always Martin. And that other one, Ryan. I love Ryan. Love, love, love Ryan. Where did he go?

After I pee, I chase that stupid squirrel up the lemon tree. Ruff! Stupid squirrel! Then I grab a lemon and bite down. Sweet tart, sweetheart. Sweetheart. That’s what Ryan called me. Where is he? He is part of the pack. Where did he go?

“Penelope!” Martin calls. “Let’s go for our walk.” Our walk! Our walk! Walk, walk, walk! The stupid leash clicks on. I bite it. Bite it! Bite it! I hate this leash. Grrrr. “Penelope, stop it now,” Martin coos, and I only do what he asks because I love him. I love him. I love him.

Down the hill, I sniff the little girls with their mama. They run over to me. “Penelope!” they scream in unison. Oh, yes! I love the girls too. Love, love, love, love, love. Every day before lunch, this love, that love. Sometimes Mochi, that curly black beast comes up and barks at me. C’mon, let’s do this, Mochi! C’mon, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon!

Then down the hill for lunch at the cafe. Me under the table, cooler here, and Martin eating his wrap. Little bites dropping down. Snacks. A little marinated onion. Yes. A piece of chicken? Wow! A pepper. Forget it. Too hot. And then I hear a familiar voice. Who’s that? Ryan? Ryan! Ryan! Ryan! Ryan!

I come bolting from under the table, but my leash is caught. Thunk! I see him there. right there, talking to another man! Not my main man, some new man. He doesn’t see me. “Penelope!” Martin says. “Easy. What is it?” I’m stretching, stretching, stretching, stretching. And I start barking. Ryan! Ryan! Ryan! Ryan!

“Penelope?” Ryan turns to me. Those big brown eyes. Oh, Ryan! At last! Back in the pack, get back in the pack! “Oh my God, Penelope!” Ryan kneels down. Love, love, love, love, love. Crazy love. Crazy, crazy, crazy love. Ryan! Ryan! Ryan! Ryan!

“I take it you two know each other,” Martin says,

“Yeah. Her dad and I used to date.”

“Oh. Are you Ryan?”

Ryan! Ryan! Ryan! Ryan!


“I’m Martin.”

“Nice to meet you.”

Ryan stands up. He’s sniffling and wiping his eyes. I crawl up his legs. Come back, come back, come back, come back!

“Oh, Penelope.” He comes down for more love. “I miss you, girl.” Then he says, “I gotta go.” And he starts walking away. What?

“I’ll tell James we saw you,” Martin hollers, but Ryan just keeps walking and doesn’t look back. No! Ryan! Come back, come back, come back, come back!

“Calm down, Penelope, jeez,” Martin says. And when he slips me off the leash for a second to untangle me from the table legs, I almost get away. But he grabs me by the collar. “Stop it!”

Ryan! Ryan! Ryan! Ryan!

First, he’s a dot in the distance. And then he’s gone.


One Response to “Pets Tell the Story”

  1. Jan Haag Says:

    Oh, I am laughing and weeping at the same time… “Ryan! Ryan! Ryan! Ryan!” What a wonderful piece to a great prompt! Bravo, my friend!

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