From ask.fm :
Have you ever met someone who keeps microfauna as pets?
In my experience there are few people who have (or at least, are vocal about having) microfauna as willful members in their households. The typical residence time seems to be how long someone takes to acquire a can or raid - or the duration of steps between the kitchen and the backyard. Though, I did know a young man who kept them as feeders for his boa constrictor since they were more animated in the cage than frozen mice, I doubt that counts as pet ownership.
I do recall when I lived in Morrow Oregon, there was an older badger morph named Ms. Miroslav who kept a copious quantity of microfauna though. We knew her through my mothers cousin; and she routinely sent me down the block on my bicycle to bring her fresh vegetables from our family garden (often in exchange for some challah bread which she was renown for making).
She was a rather cloistered individual whose husband had passed away some time before I met her. I recall her home smelling of dessicated, dead fur, and a muzzle-wrinkling aroma of unaired cigarette smoke. The white of her facial stripes was stained egg-shell tones by the quantity of it that had settled in her fur. She wore a blanked of shawls that overflowed her broad shoulders like waterfalls of brightly coloured cloth and often complained of the autumn and winter chill. She used to have me cut up the vegetables and roots I’d bring her since her claws and knuckles ached and caused her hands to shake at times. She seemed to love to hear me talk about my day and was quick to offer me a cigarette to calm my nerves if I seemed irritated. Occasionally she would grasp my hands in hers and tell me a story or two in her gravelly voice to relate and as a catalyst to provide advice.
Her house was absolutely covered in newspapers and old glass bottles which she was remiss to move much less organize. The distinctive smell of old, time softened paper and sugar-scents of the sodas and wines she partook in infected the side room and kitchen. It made the air feel like molasses and combined with the aroma of her cooking it was easy to spend an hour too many beyond my intentional visiting hours.
The oddest thing about Ms. Miro were her microfauna though. I had seen a few before I encountered her, but never in such quantities. There had to be at least a hundred - which she allowed to roam freely about the house. I have no idea how, with her shuffling gait and heavy stature, she was able to see or avoid stepping on all of them. They were quite good at remaining out of sight - and unless you were looking for them might only catch once scuttle about in the corner of your gaze. If you sat very still and didn't look down - I could sometimes hear or feel them moving around on the couch or floor. It was a very unnerving feeling and I did not like it very much.
I asked her once about them and if she would like me to get the aid of exterminator and she became very cross with me over it. She was quite adamant that they were welcome houseguests and it would not behoove her to eject company on account of stature. They were quite excellent talking company and efficient pest control, she commented (which was likely the only reason Ms. Miro was not overcome with insects or wasps given her lack of fastidiousness).
She was especially insistent on their capabilities to be trained -something as a young woman I may desire to take advantage of. As a matter of demonstration, she rang a silver bell she kept on her tea-table and clasped her hands expectantly. After a few seconds of nothing I gave her a quizzical look - which she responded to merely by lifting a claw to her snout in a shooshing gesture. Sure enough, a moment later, the scratching feeling of smaller paws and claws scaling the side of the table heralded the arrival of a small group (about five or six) microfauna - who apprehensively assembled into a small line in front of her. There were a variety of species - two perhaps-wolves and a rusty-sooty looking fox, a mouse of some sort or another a hare and something else with hooves I could not place. None the less they stood before her as she leaned her stubby snout down to examine them with her recently retrieved reading glasses. I imagine it was not a very comfortable position with her smoke-stained breath roaring down over them - but to my surprise they did not scatter or run away (though they did visibly flinch). There was a humming and a mused muttering - before Ms. Miro leaned back a moment and pointed a claw down at the rabbit; which immediately flinched as if in shock. She lowered her hand down to the table and the now trembling lapine gingerly stepped onto it, which she lifted skyward.
”You see Sophie? They are remarkable little things,” she grinned to herself proudly - rubbing a thumbpad against the little figure’s side; pressing him against her now curled fingers as she lifted him above her head to look him over - dangling by his outstretched legs, “Much more well behaved than men you will find -” she chuckled to herself, ” - with far more uses,”. I was going to ask what she meant by that - when she parted her muzzle - lowering down the little lapine against the wave of her discoloured, mottled tongue. I heard it’s little squeaks and watched its small hands grip at her claws - but the waxy sheen of them did not afford any mercy. It vanished between her lips as she curled her tongue and snapped her chops closed. There was a moment of quiet between us, as Ms. Miro rolled the recently acquired treasure along her rotten gums and yellow fangs. What I imagine was probably a fruitful struggle though - came to a swift end when she tilted her head to the side and crunched down loudly in two swift heavy motions. There was a sort eulogy in the form of a well savored swallow and a smack of her chops. She smiled thoughtfully - and then reached down to candy bowl. “He was a sweet one,” she mused to no one in particular - rummaging around in the multi-coloured stash of reflective wrappers. After a bit she settled upon a bright butterscotch and lowered it down to the remaining microfauna on the table. They quickly gathered it between them - like I had seen ants do with grains of rice or crumbs - and went back the way they came. “Be mindful as well Sophie, that they can satisfy more cravings than merely taste ,” Ms. Miro mused to me as I gathered my things.
I asked my mother later on what she meant by that and she gave me a rather repulsed look and told me not to visit Ms. Miro anymore. Later that evening when I went down for a glass of water I noticed half a loaf of challah in the trash. It must have gone stale.
A Story from Sofia's youth, prompted by an innocent question.
ohohflamethrower surprised me by drawing this piece after reading it. . I am exceptionally flattered - and hope you will visit his gallery to give him thanks alongside me. You can find his galleries below;