Image: My grandog Ted. I recently had a week with him. He is a lovely little dog who is happy to eat and sleep, chase a ball and be patted.
Arthur Koit was an animal lover. All his life, he had kept a pet. Mice, rats, guinea pigs, snakes, fish and at one stage he had a miniature rabbit called Carl.
But his one great pride and joy was his Showda. Showda’s were rare and difficult to keep. Arthur’s Showda was named Vince after his dad, who had died some weeks before Arthur acquired his Showda.
He kept it in an old fish tank, and as they grew to a tiny six inches, it wasn’t that difficult to house the tiny exotic creature.
The Showda was from the reptile family and was more like a left over from the age of dinosaurs. It scurried about on two muscly legs, ate meat and had a nasty habit of belching sulphuric gas at you if you came too close.
Vince appeared to have a mind of his own. He certainly wasn’t too fussed about being held captive, and that became clear to Arthur, and so in a cloud of menacing sulphuric gas, a compromise was struck in which Vince was given a special run in the garden every morning at ten o’clock. Arthur had to watch Vince like a hawk as Vince was forever out hunting and preferred a live mouse to a dead one for the tastiest of meals.
Eventually, they got along well, but it became clear that as Vince was a wild animal, he longed for freedom. In the afternoons, Arthur would position his tank so he could look out at the setting sun, which he would do sitting quite still, and looking away into the west.
Then one afternoon Vince was gone. He’d climbed out of his tank and made a run for it. Arthur went into a panic realising what had happened and fearful that Vince would not survive in the wild. He searched high and low but could not find Vince. Showda’s had survived so long because they were good at hiding.
It wasn’t long before Arthur noticed a few dead remains of animals that he realised Vince was still around just preferring a long time habitation in his garden to the daily restricted run.
Arthur grew contented that his Showda was still around. He could live with the fact Vince wanted to hang around, and he was happy his little Showda was happy.