Seven Pets for Seven Years

by Leilanie Stewart

Margarine is the name of my rabbit. I named him Margarine because margarine spreads easier than butter; without the clumps. I hope that my rabbit Margarine will spread just as nicely on toast as the real thing when I make him into a yummy pâté.

Hey now, don’t get me wrong! Let me explain myself before you dismiss me as a callous old codger like some twisted farts nowadays can be. Margarine is on his last legs, and I think it’s a waste to put such a grand old Flemish giant into the soil when I could cook him up in my copper pot.

It’s a shame to bury anything really, never mind a juicy pet. The last time I buried something, it didn’t do me any good. After I broke my mirror, I washed the pieces in a south-flowing river and buried them in a forest at the word of a friend, who gave the advice so I wouldn’t get seven years of bad luck. Looking back, I might have been better off not being such a superstitious idiot in the first place.

Okay, so you’ve caught me out. I’m an old cynic. I’ll tell you why I’ve come to be a miserable, pet-eating wretch. Incidentally, it started on the day I broke my mirror.

I was looking into the damn thing while I shaved when it fell off the wall and cracked on the bathroom tiles. I hadn’t even touched it, not laid even a single finger on it. If you ask me, the incompetent workman who glued it on the wall, instead of mounting it with nails should have suffered the fate to come for me.

But life ain’t fair, right?

So, one at a time, things went tits up after that. My company started making cutbacks and that included my job. My fiancée ran off with some eighteen year old college boy who apparently did some modelling for Christian Dior. La de bloody dah. She was a floozy anyway. And then my house got burgled. They even took half a bottle of opened wine and 50p off my kitchen table. Bastards.

I decided that day that if I’m fated to seven years of bad luck, then I may as well live a life of no guilt to make up for it. I started blaring my TV as loud as I wanted, especially while watching my favourite westerns to give the added sound effects of gunshots and horses. I made a habit of stealing my food staples from the supermarket. Bread, milk and bog roll for free turns pennies into pounds.

And then Butter. Butter was my first pet after my new, cursed lifestyle. He was a Yorkie and didn’t taste that good. Too sinewy from catching all those rats. I vowed to get a tastier companion, which is why I bought Margarine from a private seller online.

Since I have nearly four more years of bad luck to go, I’ll keep making my own rules for my fate. For every cursed year, I will devour a pet to take back a little of what the world owes me. They’ll be well fed all year with plenty of locally stolen delights, so rest assured they’ll go out happy like a Christmas turkey. If curses can be instilled, but not reversed, then that to me is a universal imbalance. I will set the balance right for myself by governing my life with my own laws. Seven pets for seven years, I say. Superstitions won’t have the better of me, even if life will try.

  1. #1 by mariann on August 7, 2011 - 10:13 am

    This is so wicked – I love it. Am now looking at my 20 year-old scrawny cat – but no, not enough meat left on her.

  2. #2 by Lucinda Kowol on August 7, 2011 - 11:21 am

    This is fun unusual take on ” the mirror cracked from side to side” superstition. I wondered why you let the reader into the secret so soon? Maybe you prefer the up-front curmudgeon but I was thinking that you could make it into a wonderful twist in the tail story. We feel really sorry for this poor guy and all his bad luck solaced by his pets and only find out at the end he was eating them.
    Please don’t be offended, I am new to this and I liked it very much as it is.

  3. #3 by Diana E. Backhouse on August 9, 2011 - 9:05 am

    I think I am with Lucinda on this. As it stands I certainly have no sympathy with the narrator. It reminds me of the tale my husband likes to tell of his childhood when his father killed his pet rabbit, Snowy, to put on the table for Chrismas dinner. My hubby went without meat on his plate and has never knowingly eaten rabbit since.

  1. Seven Pets for Seven Years « Leilanie Stewart
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