Chinchillas Dont Use Forks
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'Chinchillas Don't Use Forks,' documents Amber's repeated attempts to convince her parents to let her take home Vanilla, the class chinchilla.
Her dad says no, but her mom knows what's up.
To make her father realise that she is ready to care for Vanilla, Amber does research, and even acts like a chinchilla to prove she can care for the class pet.
"Have any of you ever tried double-digit multiplication?" my teacher said before I tuned her out and gave my attention to the class chinchilla.
Her name is Vanilla, and you guessed it, she's white.
You may not have guessed that she has two big, black ears. She's like a fluffy scoop of ice cream with two chocolate chips and a tail, plus she's cute enough to eat.
A student who held Vanilla said she feels like a cloud.
He obviously forgot last week's science lesson saying that clouds were just mist, but I see what he's saying. Vanilla is a puffball.
I kept watching her.
She stayed on the floor of her giant cage for about half a second, and then jumped up to a platform near the top.
I almost fell out of my seat.
That tiny, not even two-pound animal just jumped three feet without a running start!
How did she do that?
While I sat in shock, I heard zippers opening and closing. Everyone began packing up, so I did the same.
"We'll go over this again tomorrow. Also, spring break is in a few days. Does anyone want to take Vanilla home?"
"Me!" over half the class exclaimed.
"I do!" I yelled as I raised my hand, which scared Ms. King.
After drawing back, she smiled.
"Well, since most of you who raised their hands have already taken Vanilla home, and since she's the most excited, we'll give Amber the chinchilla. Everyone pack up."
I zipped up my bag and saw Ms. King coming toward my desk.
"Before I let you watch Vanilla; your parents need to sign this." Ms. King handed me a permission slip.
"Thanks. They'll be okay with it."
I made a note to ask Mom and Dad when I got home.
"Absolutely not! I won't be responsible for any loose critters! Besides, I'm allergic to pets." Dad said when I gave him the paper.
"Honey, that's the point. Amber's responsible for the chinchilla." Mom argued.
"And they're hypoallergenic." I added.
Now Dad had no choice but to let Vanilla into our home.
"All right, fine. But make sure you know what you're doing. If anything happens to that thing, I'm not paying for another class pet."
"Yay! Mom, can I use your laptop to look up how to care for chinchillas?"
I ran to the computer room and looked up "Chinchilla Care." I learned many things; they're nocturnal, vegetarian, can jump up to four feet, and they bathe in dust. Weird.
However, research can only teach you so much, but experience teaches you everything.
To understand chinchillas, I have to live like one. It was almost bath time, so instead of going to the tub, I went to the attic, where there's lots of dust. I rolled on the floor, then on the dusty old trunk.
"Amber, dinner!" Mom called from the kitchen.
When I jumped off the trunk I landed on my feet and heard a noise.
It came from a rubber ball I had when I was two. It sounded just like Vanilla.
I squeaked the ball twice as if to say "coming!"
I went down the attic steps and to the dinner table, which was covered in plates of spaghetti and meat sauce. Luckily, there was a salad and a bowl of grapes in the centre.
I took a few grapes since chinchillas can't have too much sugar. But they can have as much salad as they want. I took the salad plates and took half the lettuce. I then picked up one of the leaves with both hands and nibbled.
"Amber, use a fork with dinner," said Dad.
I squeezed the ball three times, twice fast and once slowly.
Mom crossed her arms and raised her eyebrow like she was about to ground me.
"That's chinchilla for: Chinchillas don't use forks."
"Humans do." Dad slid the fork over to me. "Also, that's not enough food for you. Have some pasta, and be sure to have it with plenty of meat sauce."
I responded to Dad with five medium-speed squeaks.
"That's chinchilla for: Chinchillas don't eat meat either. Plus that pasta has a bit of refined sugar, which chinchillas can't eat."
"Well, you're not a chinchilla!"
"Harold!" Mom snapped at Dad. "Amber, your father's right. You've proven that you're ready to take home the class chinchilla."
Dad took a deep breath.
"Amber, I've decided that the only chinchilla in my house should be a real one, not my daughter. Just keep Vanilla in your room."
I ran up to my room and cleared my desk for Vanilla. I put my arms over all the papers, then swerved to the side, making them fall to the floor.
"Clean enough for Vanilla!"
The next day after school, my parents came to the classroom and carried Vanilla's cage to the car.
"Are you sure you're ready to take her home?" Ms. King checked.
"Believe me, she's ready," my Dad assured.
My parents took both sides of Vanillas cage and brought her out to the car.
When Vanilla was settled in, we drove home for spring break and chin-chilled.
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