The Land Rodent
Disclaimer: still stand true…they own everything, and
I’m glad they do, coz that’s well…just scary.
This is the result of too much coffee…too late at
Will Riker stepped through the archway of his quarters
to find his wife and four-year-old daughter engaged in
conversation. His daughter was sitting on the sofa,
holding a box. Holes had been drilled in the side and
on top of the box, where she had lovingly placed a
Deanna was telling the sobbing child that she couldn’t
keep the small rodent that was inside of the carefully
constructed box as a pet.
“Hey, hey…. What’s going on here?” Riker asked,
walking towards the center of the room.
“Mommy, says I can’t keep my land rodent.” The young
child cried, as she tattled on her mother. She sounded
totally heartbroken. Riker noticed the huge tears that
streamed down her face. Those tears totally melted the
big man’s heart. “Why?” He asked, already leaning
forward, picking the small child up and cradling her
in his arms. Looking over at his wife, he added, “Why
can’t she keep it?”
“Will, we need to talk.” His wife sounded serious.
“No. Deanna, every time she wants to keep a pet you
constantly refuse her.” The compassion that was on his
face faded into a more serious frown.
“But…Will” Deanna tried to intervene. “You don’t….”
“No buts.” Using a firm commanding tone, he quickly
cut her off. “She keeps the pet.” He concluded
Putting the small child down, he gently instructed
her, “Go get your shoes on sweetheart, we’ll go to the
ship’s stores and pick up some supplies for your pet.
Daddy can teach it tricks, and I’ll help you take care
of it.” He gladly received the big warm hug his
daughter gave him. Giving the child a quick rub on top
of the head, he watched as she happily skipped towards
her room. When she was out of sight, his attention
turned towards his wife.
“Will.” Deanna softly stated, reaching to touch his
arm. “I need to tell you about that land rodent.”
“Wait, wait….” He interrupted her, taking a step back.
“I know exactly what you are going to say….” His voice
held a tinge of anger to it, “No pets. You won’t even
give her a chance.” He turned his head towards his
daughter’s room, to make sure the child wasn’t in
listening range of the argument. He lowered his voice,
as he squinted his eyes towards his wife, “That’s it
isn’t it?” He asked. “You want to do all the child
rearing. You’re the psychologist. You are the mighty
Deanna Troi. You’re professional opinion as ship’s
counselor” He emphasized the word counselor, “is that;
she’s too young. It isn’t wise to allow a child to
assume such responsibility. It would be a tremendous
strain on her.”
“Deanna,” he said, as he exhaled, “she needs a pet, it
will teach her responsibility. Look,” he added, “if it
gets smelly or it makes a mess, I’ll clean it up. I’ll
help her take care of it.” Taking a step towards his
wife, he reached for her hand and held it. “Let me do
this, please?” he asked.
His wife glared at him.
Holding back her anger from his earlier words, she
realized that he was determined and wouldn’t listen to
her, she also knew how stubborn and hardheaded her
husband could be, so she finally agreed. “Okay.”
Putting her hands up in surrender, “This one is all
yours Will Riker.” She warned, as she walked away.
“Okay.” He said, sternly clapping his hands as if to
say this conversation is over.
Deanna whirled her head around and flashed him an
insulting look that silently dared him to clap his
hands in such a chauvinistic manner, again.
The little girl came happily skipping from her room;
her eyes filled with joy as she jumped into her
daddy’s waiting arms.
“I’m ready to go now!” She said with excitement.
“Great! Let’s go get some food and supplies for your
new pet.” He said with anticipation, as he put the
He and his daughter left their quarters hand in hand.
He gave his wife one last glance as the door slid
shut, his face glowing with a certain arrogance.
Upon returning, Will laid some of the items he
purchase on the sofa, the little girl ran eagerly to
her room with the new cage for her pet to reside in.
Deanna noticed that Will had purchased food, vitamins,
bedding, some water containers, and he had even
purchased a padd entitled, “Pet owners guide to Land
Deanna watched him haughtily march behind the child,
as he headed towards the child’s bedroom to set up
housing for the new pet.
“Deanna?” her husband’s voice sounded more of a
request as he slowly made his entrance into the dining
“Yes?” she answered, as she placed the dishes on the
table for the evening meal. Looking up, she noticed
the ashen color that now appeared on his face.
He backed up against a wall and leaned into it.
Crossing both arms in front of him, his eyes stared
beyond his wife as she set the table. “Her pet….” He
said, as quietly as possible, so his child wouldn’t
There was a sudden pause in the conversation.
“Yes?” Deanna repeated her response.
“It’s…. Well, it’s….” He stammered softly. Now,
staring down at the floor, his eyes fixed on his boots
as if he were examining them.
Slowly raising his head to look at her, he
stated…“Deanna, it’s dead.”
“I know.” She nodded once, patting her husband’s face,
as she walked out of the dining room.
“You know” he squinted, as he followed behind her.
This wasn’t a question.
“Yes. I know.” She said, as she sat on the sofa,
tucking both legs underneath her.
Standing in front of his wife, he leaned towards her,
“Why in the hell didn’t you tell me.” His quiet words
“I tried.” She answered, not looking up at him; she
picked up the pet owner’s padd, and the vitamin
hypospray. “Tell me, what time does it take these
vitamins, dear?” she asked behind her laughter, as she
fiddled with the hypospray.
Her humor wasn’t appreciated.
“You didn’t tell our child that it was dead either.”
He said, flopping on the sofa beside her. Looking over
at her, he nervously combed his fingers through his
“That’s what I was attempting to do” she explained,
“before you decided to come in and save the day,
“Where in the hell did she get it?” She noticed his
“She found it. She’s always finding things and
bringing them home. You know that.” Tilting her head
towards him, she continued. “This is the first time
that she has actually brought home something that
was…. Well, formally alive.”
“What are we going to do?” he asked.
“We?” she sounded appalled. She was already rising up
from the sofa and heading towards the kitchen to
retrieve the replicated meal, “There is no we,
beloved.” Turning around and wagging a finger at him.
She smiled, “I agreed to let you handle this one.”
“Me?” he sounded shocked, turning the upper part of
his body around to face his wife.
“That’s… Right.” She sang the two words. Gods he hated
it when she did that.
“And just how in the hell do you suppose I do that?”
“I’m sure you’ll think of something.” She answered, as
she set the meal on the table.
Will took his boots off, and sat them on the floor
beside the sofa, he rubbed the top of his socked foot
with his hand, as he concentrated on the situation he
had just gotten himself into.
Breaking the silence he stated, “She thinks that…that
thing in there is just asleep.” extending an arm
towards his daughter’s room.
“Yes, she does.” His wife calmly answered from the
dining room. “Perhaps, you can teach her some
Rising to his feet from the sofa, he slowly walked
towards his wife and stood directly in front of her.
“That damn thing’s stiff, Deanna.”
“Very.” She responded, behind her laughter, as she
walked around him.
“You let me go and pick up food and supplies for a
dead…a very dead.” He paused shaking his head, “Stiff
as a board dead…. Land Rodent?” He questioned in
disbelief. His eyes were following his wife’s
movements as she continued her task.
“Oh, lets not forget the padd on how to properly care
for that certain land rodent.” She reminded him; her
eyes twinkled with laughter. “I want to be there when
you teach it new tricks, captain.” She laughed.
“This isn’t funny, Deanna.” He said. Deanna’s laugh
was contagious, and he was trying to control the huge
grin that was growing on his face.
“Let’s see…” she stopped, and tilted her head
playfully at him, “Perhaps, you can teach it to roll
over and play dead.”
“Listen…. I’m thrilled that I can still make you laugh
after all these years, counselor.” He said with a nod.
“But,” he added, “Please, just tell me what to do.”
There was a tinge of desperation in his voice now.
“Do you want my professional opinion as ship’s
counselor?” Now she was using his own words against
him. She noticed the expectant look on his face as he
waited for her to continue.
“I would say,” she said, “as ships counselor….” She
paused, “considering the situation, the best interest
of the child would be to let her father handle it...
after all, he did insist.”
He stood silently, with a blank look on his face.
“Okay.” Clapping her hands as if to say this
conversation is over, “I’m going to see to it that our
daughter washes for dinner.”
“With sanitizer.” she added.
Giving him a quick kiss, “Go wash up for dinner.” She
said a little too nicely.
Turning around, she made a graceful exit, as she
walked towards her daughter’s room. Leaving a very
confused Captain standing alone.