They Grow Up So Fast

“I liked that couch,” LeAnn muttered.

The couch had been split in half. It’s stuffing was strewn across the living room, it’s frame cracked and darkened by heat. In its wreckage something stirred and whined. Rescue pets always had a rough adjustment period.

Scottie was almost a year old. Big bright eyes, healthy green scales, and a playful tail covered in diamond hard spikes. He knew he had been a bad boy and was trying to hide in the murdered couch.

“Scottie,” LeAnn scolded, “Come here. Come here. No-sit!”

The two year old highland drake obediently sat down, head hanging, eyes fixed on the floor with the intensity and sorrow of a condemned man. Pitch and sulfur dripped from his jaws, the result of a slight overbite. After a moment he let his torso sink to the floor, and placed his front feet over his face, staring at his owner through giant claws.

LeAnn pointed at the destroyed sofa, “Bad! Bad Scottie!”

Scottie made a keening sound from the back of his throat, a brief flash of flame in his nostrils, as he shook his whole body once and rolled onto his side. He wiggled in place a few times before lying still.

She signed. Not much you could when your pet was clearly this penitent. Crate training had gone well at first but a bout of separation anxiety resulted in several crates being reduced to piles of burnt plastic and slagged metal. Once out he comforted himself by finding something that smelled like her and either chewing on or incinerating it. Several cushions, a handful of shoes, and once a whole laundry hamper had been sent to their reward by the anxious wyrm.

“Okay, outside,” she said as she headed towards the patio door.

Scottie, sensing that all sins had been forgiven, bounded up and spun in a happy circle flapping his stubby wings. Only knocking over a handful of things as he ran into the back yard.

Since Scottie had arrived from the shelter the backyard had experienced some changes. The trees, nature’s scratching posts, had deep grooves gouged into them. The bushes had either wilted slightly or burned heavily. The sand in the LeAnn’s firepit was now mostly glass.

Scottie dashed towards the fence and rooted around near its base. Soon he found a softball, only half melted, to drop at LeAnn’s feet.

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