The evening was taking a turn for the worse. The Abnormally Large Footed Creature had begun screaming at his wife, forcing the saner members of the house to look for cover until the storm abated. I slid under the dining table and watched the A.L.F.C’s ballooned toes tense strenuously as its owner got madder and madder at his spouse, who sat calm-toed, in the dining chair facing him.
“So I broke the one cup which proved that you ambled about a bit during your college years.” The wife leaned towards the A.L.F.C, as if to share a secret-
The question hung in the air, as if in genuine doubt while its source strived to put on a truly puzzled expression on her face. I, nevertheless, had the privilege of watching the bottom of the table and the lower halves of its occupants. Her toes wiggled in amusement.
The A.L.F.C’s foot crashed against the tiled floor in anger, turning red and sore immediately. I edged closer to her wiggling toes, while she sat opposite his choked up livid face.
“YOU….YOU HEARTLESS WOMAN!!! YOU FIEND-IN-DISGUISE! How COULD you do it?!!!”
His foot drooped miserably while its redness faded and the rest of him deflated like a punctured tire-“First prize in the race. I had beaten all past records and created one which hasn’t been broken yet. Hell, I had even made it on the third page of the local sports paper that year. Cherished that trophy like a son, dusted and protected it from harm for a decade and then…”
The tire began to refill with furious rapidity.
“And then, one fine day, you just came along and waved your worthless arm in the air and PUSHED THE TROPHY ONTO THE GROUND SMASHING IT TO BITS!!! HOW COULD YOU?!!!”
The wife looked at the A.L.F.C languidly, drumming her fingertips against the table, her toes against the floor. Leaning back lazily, she crossed her legs before replying to her partner-
“It was egg and spoon, John, how many times do we have to go over this? That does not qualify as a race.” John emerged from his chair; a harmless storm became a wild, fatal tornado. His face changed colors and contours with alarming speed; angry red became murderous black, the slight ridges on his forehead became deep fissures and even the wife began to look faintly concerned.
Just when it seemed that all was lost, John/A.L.F.C, engrossed in his laborious efforts to wring the wife’s neck, placed an enormous, clumsy foot on my paw. Fed up of the proceedings, and urged by his bored offspring, I slowly sunk a claw into his leg.
The A.L.F.C screamed as the wife rushed to his side. I retired to safer quarters for the rest of the evening as I had no wish to be manhandled in any way.
Bored to tears by his parents’ latest argument, nine-yr old John Jr. privately lauded his pet for the smooth efficiency with which she had terminated the fight this time. No hospitals were involved, a tiny bandage would suffice. There she lay asleep, in her humble, self-effacing manner, as if this latest accomplishment was a trivial feat. John Jr. bent down to pat her lovingly on the head. He could still remember the classifieds ad which had spurred his father to gift her as his tenth birthday present.
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She was that and much more. A fresh yelp from the general direction of the dining room brought him back to the present. John Jr., reluctantly tore away from his pet and rushed off to get the medical toolkit.