Fred and his Flea Family
By Bridgette Jochem
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Fred was a creature who sucked blood. It was a rather gruesome way of life but one that is perfectly normal for a flea.
Fred and his flea family of mother, father, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunties, grandmas and grandads lived on a tortishell cat called Fluffy. Fluffy was a very good host. She provided them with an ample food supply of sweet, warm blood and a warm comfortable place to sleep. She also provided cheap, enj0oyable entertainment for the flea family.
Fluffy took the fleas with her, wherever she went and so the fleas had a good view of the neighbourhood. When Fluffy sat down and watched TV so did the fleas. When Fluffy chased mice in the garage so did the fleas. And when Fluffy went on her midnight prowl along the fence, over the gate, across the road and down the hill to the beach where she somet8imes found some fish heads to chew on you guessed it. The fleas went too.
One day it occurred to Fred that perhaps the polite thing to do would be to go and introduce himself and his family to their very gracious host. So after a meal of sweet, warm blood. The fleas, with Fred in the lead headed from Fluffy's soft warm belly (which was their favourite place to breakfast), up the steep hill to the top of her back, along the ridge to her head and then down between her ears and eyes to meet in a group on the end of Fluffy's wet, pink nose.
There they jumped up and down and waved their hands in the air.
"Hi cat, it's us your very own friendly, bloodsucking fleas. We've come to say hello and ask when you are taking us to the beach next?'
Fluffy was not actually very pleased to see her very own friendly, bloodsucking fleas as you can imagine. "So its you lot that been leaving you're dirt in my fur, sucking my blood and making me itch!" She screeched.
"It's not our fault that we are bloodsucking creatures you know," said Fred, his feelings hurt.
"Well don't you go and try Patch the dogs blood for a change? His blood is even sweeter and more delicious than mine."
Fred thought about this for a minute. He and his family had a very easy, comfortable life where they were, but a change of scenery did sound appealing and maybe patch would take them to the beach more often. "Okay," said Fred. "How do we get there?"
Fluffy was pleased; having fleas would do patch good. "Just jump off my nose and run across the carpet towards the fire and there he is. It should be easy for you to run up his tail and find a nice warm place to live."
The fleas were very excited about their adventure and they wet off immediately.
Patch was a tired, old dog and he barely noticed the arrival of his unannounced guests. That was until the fleas decided they wanted some lunch. Then, pool old Patch knew all about them. They made him itch and scratch like crazy.
Fred and his family however thought it was great. There were new places to hide, new places to eat, new places to sleep and Patch did take them down to the beach more often.
One day Fred thought it would be the decent thing to do, to take himself and his family to meet Patch and thank him for his hospitality. So Fred and all his relations traipsed up Patch's hind leg, walked along the long ridge of his back, over his scruffy head, between his ears, and eyes and then reassembled on patch's black, wet nose where some of the younger fleas complained of cold sticky feet. Fred jumped up and down and waved his arms to get patch's attention.
"Hi dog, it's us your very own friendly, bloodsucking fleas come to say hello.'
"So its you lot that's been making my fur dirty and making me itch. You'v3 got a nerve to show yourself!"
Fred was quite taken aback. It didn't know why they always got such unfriendly hosts. "It's not our fault that we are bloodsucking creatures, you know. We didn't ask to be fleas."
"I guess you're right, Patch had to admit. But wouldn't you like to try eating something else other than blood. Like some of my dog roll for example. It is delicious."
"Well we haven't actually tried eating anything else,' said Fred.
"Well, you should,' said Patch. "In fact, I've got a good idea, why don't you stay where you are while I walk to my food bowl and then you could all jump off my nose, into my bowl and try some of my delicious dog roll and milk? When you have had enough to eat, you can jump back onto my nose.'
Fred and his family discussed patch's idea. "Why not?' Fred said eventually. "It could be fun."
So the flea family poised themselves on the edge of Patch's nose as he walked to his food bowl.
'Okay my flea friends, get ready, get steady, go!"
And they did. In they all dived one after another. Uncles, aunts, cousins, mothers, fathers, grandmas and grandads, the lot. Splash, splash, splash into the milky dog roll mixture.
"Great!" Thought Patch as he ate up his dinner fleas and all. Who said you couldn't teach an old Dog new tricks?