A Tale Of Two Pets

I remember it was about that time that Jim Sloane used to work at the YMCA. Now that was a character. He was, in my opinion, an unusual individual who was interested in some rather exotic subjects. The most unusual thing about him was his pet, (rumored to have been captured somewhere in Africa) which reminded me of a piece of granite with eyes, which he called Teddy. Teddy typically just sat there, doing nothing, but sometimes it lifted a lower edge and sucked in powdered sugar. That was all it ate. No one ever saw it move, but every once in a while it wasn’t where people thought it was. There was a theory that it moved when no one was looking.

Tim Bellamy, a lifeguard, constantly ridiculed poor Teddy, saying mean and nasty things about it. Laverty’s pet looked like an iguana, and to me, at least, was the ugliest looking thing that you would ever want to see. He called this ‘iguana’ by the unlikely name of Dolly.

Well, one day Sloane had had enough of these comments, and challenged Bellamy to a race. His Teddy against Bellamy’s Dolly. And to make things a bit more interesting, he suggested a rather hefty wager on the outcome, which Bellamy quickly agreed to. Soon everyone got into the act. Every one of them bet on Dolly. At least it moved. Sloane covered it all. He’d been saving his salary for some time (for some exotic project, no doubt) and put every penny of it on Teddy.

The race course was set in the basement garage. At one end, two bowls were set out, one with powdered sugar for Teddy, and another with ground meat for Dolly. Dolly started off at once and began moving along the floor slowly toward the meat. All in attendance cheered it on.

Teddy just sat there without budging.

"Sugar, Teddy. Sugar." said Sloane, pointing. Teddy did not move. It looked more like a rock than ever, but Sloane did not seem concerned.

Finally, when Dolly had ‘ran’ half-way across the garage, Sloane said casually to Teddy, "If you don’t get out there, Teddy, I’m going to get a hammer and chip you into pebbles."

That was when people realized how truly different Teddy was. Sloane had no sooner made his threat when Teddy just disappeared from its place and re-appeared smack on top of the sugar.

Sloane won, of course, and he counted his winnings slowly and luxuriously.

Bellamy said bitterly, "You knew that it would do that."

"No, I didn’t," said Sloane, "but I knew he would win. It was a sure thing."

"How come," said Laverty.

"It’s an old saying everyone knows. Sloane’s Teddy wins the race."