© Bruce Goodman 24 January 2014
“Has anyone seen Pom-Pom?” asked Margaret.
Margaret was eleven years old. Pom-Pom was her pet guinea pig. It was the daddy guinea pig. There were others. They kept making babies.
“Have you seen Pom-Pom?” Margaret asked of her father.
Her father hated Pom-Pom. “Why don’t you get rid of the thing?” he asked. “It shits everywhere.”
“Have you seen Pom-Pom?” Margaret asked of her sister, Anna-Sue.
Anna-Sue was older than Margaret. She was studying Veterinary Science at university. “Stop pestering me about your guinea pig,” she said. “I’m miles behind on my paper on animal dissection. I’m desperate to catch up.”
“Have you seen Pom-Pom?” Margaret asked of her brother, Frank.
Frank was fourteen. “I haven’t been near it,” said Frank. “You know I’m not allowed to touch your stupid pets, ever since I cut the tail off Steve’s mouse.” Steve was Margaret’s nine-year-old brother.
“Have you seen Pom-Pom?” Margaret asked of Steve.
“The thing stinks,” he said. “I agree with Dad. There are too many guinea pigs in this place. Anyway, I’ve been doing a job for Mum all morning.”
“Have you seen Pom-Pom?” Margaret asked of her mother.
Margaret’s mother was originally from Peru. “No dear,” she said. “It is nowhere to be seen. I saw it at an earlier time.”
That evening the family sat down to a delicious chicken stew. “Has anyone seen Pom-Pom?” asked Margaret at the table.
There were blood stains on the cutting board.