I got the idea when he was watching a nature show on TV. He likes animals,” Mother said.
It wasn’t fair, I told myself. I figured he watched education shows to please our parents
“Then I saw an ad in the newspaper,” Mother said, “. They’ve got turtles on sale. You can buy him a pet.”
Feeling miserable but caught, I promised.
On the morning of his birthday, he was up bright and early and jumping around, pretending to catch fly balls over the shoulder like Willie Mays. Mother served his favorite breakfast.
When Father asked Bobby what he wanted to do on his birthday, Bobby volunteered to help him in the fish shop. Any normal kid would have asked for money .After Father and Bobby left for work, Mother stood over me. “Well, did you buy Bobby’s pet?” she asked.
Mother handed me a folded-up piece of paper. “I cut out the ad from the newspaper so you would know where to go. After you wash the dishes, go down and but Bobby’s pet.”
“That’s Bobby’s chore today,” I whined. “It’s his birthday,” Mother said. If you need money, go down to the garbage cans. I saw lots of empty soda bottle.”
After Mother left, I heaved a big sigh. Going into the kitchen, I turned on the radio for music and began washing the dishes.
As I was finishing up, I saw the newspaper ad on the table. Then I saw the small print: BABY ALLIGATORS ON SALE. And like an omen, the radio began playing a funny song from the past. “See you later, alligator,” the radio sang. “After a while, crocodile.”
If there had been a light bulb over my head, it would have suddenly shone as bright as the sun. Mother had said to buy Bobby a pet. I chuckled. Poor Mother. She thought she had trapped me, but she had given me a loophole.