On the Chain By Christine Swiderski

On the chain

I live on a farm with my dad, my mom passed away when I was born.  My dad’s views are old fashion; he believes if the animal doesn’t produce something that sustains us, such as food or fiber for clothing they belong on a chain. He considers them pets and pets belong on a chain. My dad has two pets he has raised since thy were young. When I do chores the livestock get fed, watered and fresh bedding first; only after that do the pet’s get fed. Dad says he doesn’t care much for people, they tend to stick their nose in your business and they do not understand the old ways. Because of his feelings about people, I do not bring my friends home with me, I usually go to their houses to hang out.

Brian is my best friend we spend a lot of time together. I like going to Brian’s house he is allowed to have his pets inside where they seem happier and more part of the family. I asked Brian why his dad lets him have his pets in the house and he said: “My dad believes they are part of the family and that they would be lonely outside.”

That made sense to me and I have decided to talk to my dad about allowing me to bring his pets indoors as well. I know at first he would not warm up to the idea but maybe if I keep trying he will finally allow it. Especially in the winter when the weather is so cold. I am glad we live in the south because we do not get snow, we do get a lot of rain and the pets get wet and cold. I try to keep their bedding dry and even give them blankets to curl up in but it just does not seem to be enough.

Today after school dad finally has agreed to let me bathe the pets, and play with them. He usually does the bathing and playing, I watch out the window when he does it, I want to learn how, and he said the best way to learn is to watch.

I came home and dad was in the kitchen with all the things I needed to bathe the pets, one’s name is Marcy the other’s is Patti.

 I walked outside and as I approached the pets, Patti started to cry. I felt sorry for her because I figured she did not like baths. Dad said it was normal for them not to like baths but eventually they settle down and enjoy the play time.

I have to admit I enjoyed giving them their baths and playing with them. I told dad I could not wait to do it again. He said I could do it once a week and he would do it once a week. I was thrilled.

The next day I was at Brains and told him about my time with the pets. Brian seemed confused about what I did; so I explained to him exactly what happened I figured his dad did not allow him to watch when he gave his pet a bath and played with her. I felt sorry for Brian not being able to watch, especially since he only had one pet.

Sitting here in detention at the police station I hear my dad say: “I kept them as pets, the urine is good for the lawn it produces nitrogen and the heels aerate the earth.”

A man walked into the room where I was sitting and asked if I wanted a beverage. I said yes, water would be nice. The man brought me water and a hamburger with fries. I love hamburgers and fries, I could only get them when I was at Brian’s.

The man sat next to me while I was eating and asked me if I understood why I am there. I told him it had something to do with our pets and that it was against the law to have them outside on the chain. The man then started to explain to me that women are not pets they are human. A pet would be a dog or a cat but not a human being.  I shrugged and told the man my dad said they were pets, I knew they were human but I thought it was okay to treat them like pets because they were treated better than most women.

I sat while the man who gave me the hamburger left the room I heard him speak to another man. “Did the boy give you anything? “

The man with the burger said: “No I don’t think he realizes his dad was into Human Trafficking.”

The man with the burger came back into the room sat down and asked me: “ Do you understand what sex is?”


I said: “Yes that is what you do with pets.”

He looked at me as though I was an animal. I yelled: “I am not an animal you just don’t understand about pets.”


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