The first pet the little girl owned was a hamster. She was ten at the time. She named it Simon, loved it and took care of it as she was told. One day, her cousin, Lil’ Jo came to her. He took her up the stairs to her room and shut the door. Then he unzipped his pants and let them drop to the floor, his nakedness hanging out. Touch me, he said. She took one look at his flaccid flesh and refused. She would tell her daddy on him and get him beat. Lil’ Jo huffed in anger. He went to the hamster cage and took the small ball of fur in his hand. Its nose twitched. Lil’ Jo stared at her and squeezed his hand into a fist. He squeezed till the hamster’s eyes popped out, till its cries were a shrill squeak of wasted air, till blood ran from its nose and its tongue hung out of its mouth. He dropped the hamster and she cried. She would never own a pet again.