Larry took a walk the same time each and every morning, no matter what the weather. 6:30 exact and he was shuffling out the doors to the old folks home to putter about the grounds for awhile. It was a muggy August morning, the kind where you could already feel the heat griping at you. The old timer was gnarled and had to lean on his cane but he was doing better than most would expect for a ‘fella of 85, able to get out on his own to enjoy a bit of breakfast or a cup of coffee.
The grounds of the place were well maintained and surrounded by the kind of scrubbish light woodland common in cities. He’d usually sit out on a stump and while away the morning: It was better than being back there listening to people shit their britches or moan about the corns on their feet.
This morning was different though. Something had replaced the usual birdsong or the soft scurry of squirrel paws. A soft whimpering, sniffling, on occasion a terrified squeal. His ears weren’t what they were supposed to but after awhile of poking around and moving underbrush with the tip of his cane, he finally found the origin of these noises.
It was one of them fluffy ponies. Toys or what have you. Larry remembered his grandchildren had asked for one, oh, years ago. A steep ask for a pensioner back when they cost a pretty penny. This one was a soft ‘yeller like fresh churned spring butter, mane and tail a white which had been stained brown by being forced to lay against the damp ground. Thin, but not too far off. It regarded the old man with eyes which shone with tears, waving it’s hooves out.
“Nu huwties! Pwease nu huwties! Huuhuu!” My these little critters had a funny way of talking. Larry held out a liver-spot speckled hand, the one not gripping his cane to reassure it.
“Hurt’cha? Christ on a tortilla, y’need to relax.” He said grumpily. Yet it was hard to deny he was a softie when it came to critters. Ever since he had a puppy when he was a boy, and though these things might be classified as toys he couldn’t just see it that way.
Easing himself down on a nearby log and making sure he wasn’t going to go plunking down the rotten wood, he unwrapped a napkin tugged out from his shirt pocket. It held part of his breakfast, a boiled egg snagged from the cafeteria. “C’mere. Have a bit ‘ol chum.” The foal hesitantly got close and poked it’s snout out as the egg was waggled to it.
“Weawwy?” It asked, the man nodding. Nomming onto the egg it would take out enthusiastic bites, giving pleased chirrups at each mouthful and seemingly especially delighted when reaching the yolk. Most pleasure Larry had ever seen anyone take out of the miserable slop served by the home, he’d think with wry amusement.
“Wub ‘ou su su much! Dank yew!” The foal remarked, unable to finish the rest of the egg and leaving the remainder on the ground. Getting up to one of Larry’s slipper-clad feet, it hugged on tightly and gave a pleased coo.
“Where’s yer…ehmm…owner? Mommah?” The fluffy regarded him for a moment before looking around.
“Nu bwuddahs…nu sissy…nu mummah. Aw wun fwom monstah!” It said. Well, shit. Sharing his breakfast was one thing but could he possibly be thinking about taking this thing back to the home? Huh.
“Righty-O, pal. ‘Ol Larry’ll watch’er ‘til your mommah comes a-lookin’ fer ya.” With that he would carefully scoop up the baby creature. It fit right comfortably well in his palm, though he’d press it snugly up against the front of his shirt.
“Mummah wook ‘foh babbeh?” The old man glanced down and nodded. He didn’t really think so but he wasn’t about to rain on the parade of something which seemed to have the mind of a child. “Sure as sugar.”
On the way back to the home he would learn a few things. First, the fluffy was a male. For another, it didn’t have a name. He wondered if it wasn’t customary for their own mothers to give them a name. Maybe it was something humans did, or maybe they had to be old enough? Hell he was asking himself all sorts of questions.
White Oaks Retirement Home. It was a typical place. It’s not like the staff there beat people or stole their jewelry but it wasn’t a place you wanted to be all the same. Stank like cleaning chemicals or shit if you were unlucky, the residents were a bunch of kooks, and they had a tendency to treat you like a drooling retard even if you had all your wits about you. Slowly making his way through the automatic sliding front door, Larry and his new guest would be immediately stopped by one of his personally least favorite people. A big old toadish lump of a woman named Janice. On a typical day she’d have her fat nose so far up your ass you’d swear she was collecting colonoscopy results.
“Mr. Peets! You can’t possibly be thinking about bringing that thing in!” The woman said, scowling. That schoolmarm tone and the pinched use of his last name.
“Go shit’cher bonnet, Janice.” Larry cracked back at her without turning to look. He didn’t need to see the look of indignation slip over her face.
“I’ll be having a word with the director! He’ll be quite disappointed in you, Mr. Peets. And you can forget keeping that thing!” Though the old man wasn’t hearing it. He was already well down the residentiary hall at this point.
“Shid! Shid! Shid!” The little foal kept saying once they were in Larry’s room. It bounced against his chest as it was brought to the bathroom, the old man mumbling a bit as he set the young’in down in the sink basin and putting the stopper in. “Don’t fret so much in there. And don’t say shit. Ladies won’t take you home to meet their folks.”
“Nu shid tu waddies homesies?” It asked, stringing together the words it just head into an incomprehensible sentence. Larry nodded. Sure. Turning the water on and putting a finger under the tap to make sure the water wasn’t too cold or hot, the foal immediately began to freak out.
“Nu! Nu wawa! Wawa bad ‘fo fwuffy!” It tried to scrabble against the sink basin but it was too smooth and it immediately ended up sliding back down into the pool of water which was beginning to form. It was so scared that Larry poked a gnarled finger down, stroking the tip against it’s furred cheek to try and soothe it.
“You need to be big ‘n brave. Your new friend Larry won’t let no harm fall on yer head. No sir.” He said in his best reassuring voice, hoarse as it was from years of chainsmoking and hollering down on an assembly floor. The fluffy whimpered and nodded, hugging onto the finger which had been poked out to offer it reassurance. It didn’t take too much effort to use a bit of handsoap to lather onto it’s fur, doing his best to get him all washed up. It wasn’t the best but it was the best he could do at the moment.
Afterwards, all cuddled up and drying off in the folds of a big fluffy towel, Larry would nod to the fluffy. “Need a name dont’cher? How’s about Lad? Sounds gentlemanly and you’ll need to be cuttin’ a good impression to stay here.”
The fluffy gave an enthused peeping. “Wahd! Nyu namesies! Wub! Wahd!” It repeated several times with boundless elevating enthusiasm as a knock came at the door.
“Mr. Peets. The Director would like a word with you.” Came Janice’s voice. He didn’t need to have X-ray vision to see the smug look on her face.
“He’s gonna have to wait! Porkin’ your momma at the moment!” Larry hollered out to the door, looking to Lad all snug in his towel-blanket. “Don’t you go repeatin’ that neither.”
Shoutout to @WildeFaun here’s something positive for once
Shoutout to @AmbitiousLeather8309 because I feel like it
Thanks for reading everyone, let me know if you want more