Friday, December 18, 2009

Sassy Love



A family is a unit composed not only of children but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold. ~Ogden Nash



Harry has lived in New York for several years now, and planned to visit his parents in Arkansas for one week during the holiday season. He does not go home that often because he is miffed at his mother -- for many reasons, though one in particular rankles him the most. Harry is the youngest of four boys, and when he left home to find fame in New York theater, his mother replaced him with a squirrel.



Yes. That's correct. Sassy the Squirrel now has the run of Harry's childhood home in Little Rock. A year ago, his mother found the baby squirrel lying injured and abandoned in their backyard and nursed it back to health. Now, she is a coddled member of the family.

Sassy sits at the head of the table and nibbles on peanuts while the others eat dinner. At night she sleeps in a towel-lined basket in what was once Harry’s bedroom.

Not surprisingly, Harry’s two best friends in New York laughed at his tale of woe but tried to help him the only way they knew. They took him to a bar.

“Is your little sister cute?” This from Mikey, who grinned when Pete sprayed beer with his shout of laughter.

“Does she say cheese for the camera at family pictures? Or acorn?”

Harry ordered another round. “Not helping, you guys. That rodent should hunt for things in the woods and sleep in a damn tree!”

The bartender brought the drinks and leaned over the bar. “Whatcha buying her for Christmas?”

Mikey and Pete sprayed more beer.

Harry left New York several days later. His friends called and wished him a “happy holiday at Sassy's house.” They also reminded him that he should be polite once there because, after all, when he finally came out to his family, the one member that took it in stride right away was...

Well, you know.

Harry will stay in the guest bedroom. As he found out the last time he was home, Sassy prefers to sleep alone.

38 comments:

  1. Great twist, Marisa! Symbolism everywhere in this piece - even in the picture ;o)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Fun story! I loved the last line. Perfect sum up. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nice one,M! Now I have to read your other stories....

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hilarious, especially the last line.

    I loved this too: "a coddled member of the family".

    ReplyDelete
  5. hmm, when i left home my mom left everything just the way it was..for 30 yrs! No squirrels..fun tale, tail you know what I mean..

    ReplyDelete
  6. Marisa ... I almost chocked on a tomato slice when I read he'd been replaced with a squirrel.. The story is wonderfully happy... Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Zeitgeist or something about the going home for holidays air? My fridayflash is also about the substituting of a family member by an animal.

    Great minds and all that!

    Hugely enjoyable

    ReplyDelete
  8. It's true, us nurturers (is that even a word?)do tend to replace the child that goes off on their own with a pet. Or in my case, another child :-) Fun story!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Marisa,
    I absolutely cracked up when you said he was replaced by a squirrel. I was replaced by a dog, a more logical choice. I love the squirrel idea, because it says more about what his mom was missing when he left home. Oh the craziness that would ensue!

    Thanks for this funny Christmas story. Should give those going home for Christmas something to think about;))

    ReplyDelete
  10. lol.
    I'd be pissed.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Fun. Nothing like having to sleep in the guest room due to a squirrel. Love the picture.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I LOVE it. Almost choked on my coffee when I read he'd been replaced by a squirrel. The ending is perfect, nice play on words--and I agree that there is symbolism everywhere in this piece. So much in so few words!

    ReplyDelete
  13. HA! What a fun story Marisa. Great little twists everywhere.
    Thanks for sharing the laughs!

    ReplyDelete
  14. A fun story, full of humor and great writing throughout. Couldn't help but think of the Seinfeld episode where George had to buy the tiny instruments so the squirrel he ran over could be surgically repaired.

    ReplyDelete
  15. :) I also though of that Seinfeld episode while reading.
    Very nice story, Marisa! And great photo :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. What a fun story!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I liked it. :) I had to think that this could be turned into a thriller story where the neglected son conspires to "take the squirrel out of the picture...permanently"...but that's just me being silly I guess.

    Nice one.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I hate when that happens!
    Can't wait 'til the kids move out...

    ReplyDelete
  19. How fun, Marisa! Great comic moments in this. Loved the last line.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Excellent story. Had me laughing out loud. I'm sure there's a ton of baby talk at the squirrel, too. A day in the life in that house would make a great story, too.

    ReplyDelete
  21. LOL great to read. loved the twist. :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. A squirrel! Call the dogs!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Marisa,

    This helps to explain the seven mice I've been feeding.
    Gives new meaning to the term "empty nest!"
    I absolutely loved it!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I think I know this family. I think I'm a MEMBER of this family. I've never been fond of squirrels -- tree rats, I say -- but it wouldn't surprise me one bit to find my mother had years ago replaced me with one. :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Yuck, I would never sleep with a squirrel, especially one named Sassy. The nerve!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I am very fond of squirrels. I enjoyed this immensely.
    I could just picture her sitting at the family table.
    very nicely done.
    :0)

    ReplyDelete
  27. This was super fun, and beautifully written!

    Your story brings me back to when I left home for my first job in Boston. Upon my return for Christmas, I found I'd been usurped by a short-haired wire fox terrier. He sat at my seat at the kitchen table (yes!) -- I was told to get another chair from the dining room. He was a great pooch... Peace, Linda

    ReplyDelete
  28. I think you have the makings of a blockbuster Disney movie here. Cute story.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Very fun story and I love why they encouraged him to be nice to the squirrel ... very cute and nice, creative thinking!

    ReplyDelete
  30. What a fun read (and very realistic friends!)
    The last line was great :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. This was excellent. Humor, twist, double meanings ~ made me want to reread it again!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Poor Harry! So glad all my mom did was turn my room into her sewing room. Very cute. :)

    Cecilia

    ReplyDelete
  33. Blimey, that must cause some kind of traumatic personality. Replaced by a squirrel!

    ReplyDelete
  34. You were way ahead of the times with this one!

    ReplyDelete