It was six a.m. and Southern Man rubbed the sleep from his eyes and stumbled downstairs to rouse his teenage son. This is not necessarily a difficult task but does often require an early start and a fair amount of repetition. However, this morning the opening response wasn't the usual sleepy "Huhhhh" or "Go away" or "I'm awake" or "Stop it!"
It was "Dad, you won't believe this but there was a ferret on me last night. I put it in the bathroom."
Now it was Southern Man's turn to say "Huhhh?"
"There was a ferret in bed with me last night," he repeated. "I put it in the bathroom."
Even given the chaos that is the norm at Casa Southern Man, nocturnal bedroom invasions by rogue ferrets might be considered a bit unusual. Southern Man tries to run a relatively ferret-free household but decided to consider, for just a moment, that teenage son wasn't hallucinating so he opened the door to the downstairs bathroom and peeked inside. The ferret stuck its head out of teenage son's jeans and peeked back.
Inevitably, the next question was "Can we keep him?"
Well, for the moment, yes. We put it back in the bathroom with a bowl of water and headed out to his bus stop. But the usual morning schedule for Southern Man includes dropping his teenage daughter by her school, so the two of us cut by Casa Southern Man so she could see it. She emerged with the ferret happily wrapping itself around her neck. "Ooooh, it's so cute!" she exclaimed. "Can we keep him?"
Fortunately, Southern Man recalled that many months ago one of his neighbors had asked him to keep an eye out for their missing ferret, so he knocked on their door and asked if they had an AWOL pet. They were (it had escaped the previous evening) and the ferret was reunited with its sometime owner. It turns out that this particular ferret has mastered the ability to leave and enter houses and has been in pretty much every home in the neighborhood, so watch for the inevitable sequel coming soon to a blog near you.