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All God's Creatures

"That creature is a menace!" Mrs. Keepler declared. Her penetrating voice drew the attention of everyone nearby. Henry wished he had come to the pet park at a less popular time. His stegosaurus, Rover, the object of Mrs. Keepler's ire, pressed anxiously against the back of his knees.
The irate woman continued her tirade. "Look what that monster did to my poor Queenie! Her leg is practically cut off! I refuse to believe that brute complies with the extinct animal regulations; it's clearly oversized and obviously feral to boot!"
Henry nervously ran his hand through his hair. People were staring. There were four towers surrounding this park, and the complete population of all four seemed to have come out today.
He looked down at Queenie, sitting beside Mrs. Keepler. The standard poodle didn't seem to be bothered by the small cut on her leg. He could barely see it through her curly fur.
"Ma'am, I'd be happy to pay any vet bills that come from this," he placated. "I can assure you Rover is legal. He's under the 24 inch and 40-pound limit for a Class II Extinct Herbivorous Reptile, and he was genegineered to be completely domesticated. I can send you his DNA registration if you want."
He knelt down and scratched Rover's neck. "He's a good boy. The only reason he used his tail spikes was because your dog was chewing the plates on his back."
"Registrations," Mrs. Keepler scoffed. "All genegineered animals should be illegal. They're freakish and dangerous. If animals were meant to be pets they would have evolved that way. What do you have against normal dogs and cats? I don't trust any creature cooked up in a lab."
"But Mrs. Keepler," Henry said, looking up at the lady in disbelief, "surely you know poodles don't naturally come in pink?
The End
This story was first published on Monday, November 7th, 2022
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