My English pen-friend told me about his pet in his letters. I envy him. He’s got a white pony. His parents own a farm so he has an opportunity to keep this kind of pet. But I don’t think there are a lot of such lucky people in England. So there aren’t in Russia. But I’m sure every child and teenager dreams of a pet, so warm and lively. My pen-friend wrote that lots of families in Great Britain have got one or more pets. Dogs are the favourite pets and there are about 6 million of them in Britain. The second favourite are cats (about 5 million) and third favourite is a bird-budgie. Some families keep other animals as pets in their homes. The English are real pet lovers. They buy nice food for their pets in pet shops.
Now we can buy the same food in pet shops as well. Being a child I remember zoo shops in Moscow. There were 3 of them. One could buy a bird, a baby of tortoise, hamster, white mouse, rat, different beautiful fish and food for them, some special worms for fishing in that shops but if you made up your mind to buy a puppy or a kitten you had to go to so called Bird Market. I do not know why it was Bird Market for one could buy there practically every kind of animal or bird both domestic and wild.
I had a pet when I was a kid. He was a Scotch sheep-dog. I can’t say about him “it”. He was my nurse. My mum taught him not to bark when I was sleeping and he used to run up to her and whimper when the hell was ringing. He had narrow brown “Asiatic” eyes. His name was Tuan. We took him from a dog-club and he was very pure-bred. So we had to find the name beginning with the letters “t” and “u”. For some time we couldn’t manage it. And one day mum said, “Let’s call him Tuan. I’ve read a story written by Somerset Maugham and this word was in that story. In Indonesian it means “a man, a master, a commander”. Such a man, a master my dog was. But so tactful, patient, so full of love person he was. A real master of the whole house. Mum told me my dog taught her to be tender and patient with any baby, both human and animal. Later I took care of him, fed him and took him for a walk.
Dogs can live 15 years but my darling was gone at the age of 11. We couldn’t take another dog, we missed him so much. Now we have a tortoise. My tortoise likes eating lettuce and cabbage. She also likes cucumbers. She likes a bath in hot weather.
In October she gets sleepy, so I put her in a big box and keep it in a warm room. She sleeps all winter and wakes up in March.
The tortoise knows her name. She puts out her head when I call her. She likes me stroking her head.
I’ve got two budgies too. I made a big cage for them. I change their water once a day. I also give them seed and some lettuce every day. I clean the cage every day. At night I cover their cage with cloth. My budgies like playing with a swing in their cage, ringing a bell and looking at mirror. I’m teaching them to talk. One can already say “Hello”.
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