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Falling for Daisy This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

I know it’s cliché but I had an instant connection to her. The moment I saw her and looked into those big blue eyes of hers, I was hooked. Our souls clicked with that one exchange. She pressed her paw against the glass and I pressed my hand against the glass. And in that moment, I knew that she was mine.

Unfortunately, my dad was not so convinced.

“She’s a rat,” my dad said.

“But, Daaaad! Look at her.”


“I just feel her. I love her.”

“How can you love her?” he asked. “You haven’t even held her.”

“But she’s special.”

He just shook his head.

I looked at her spin, spin, spin on her little wheel and I became attached to her even more. But my dad wouldn’t do it. He couldn’t get past the tail, he said.

I couldn’t get past those eyes. I couldn’t help but get past her cheerful, kind little soul that reached out to me. I couldn’t let it go.

Luckily, my sister was there for some reinforcement that day, who agreed.
My father still wasn’t budging though. He made his arguments about she would need a new cage and everything and how she would need more cages. But I knew the truth.

So, despite all my pleading, we left the pet store that day empty-handed. He wanted another hamster, he insisted, and only that.

I did get that other hamster. Her name was Cheerio and she was so tiny that she could wrap around my finger (unlike Tinks, my previous hamster, who was at least big enough to fit in my hand). But I still couldn’t help but think about that beautiful rat, who still hadn’t found a home yet. And our connection was as strong as ever.

She stayed with me. I kept thinking about her and thinking about her and thinking about her.

My dad told me to forget about her. But I couldn’t.

I should have held her, I thought. I should have held her and had my dad see how amazing she was.

I couldn’t give up on Daisy. I wouldn’t go up on Daisy.

“Isn’t Cheerio enough for you?” Dad asked.

“I love Cheerio,” I said and I did, “but I can’t stop thinking about her. I can’t stop worrying her. I mean, she still hasn’t found a home yet and it’s been weeks. What if she still hasn’t found a home yet? I mean... What if that’s because she was meant here?”

Dad rolled his eyes and smiled at me. “You can’t worry about every pet in that pet store.”

It sounded funny but it wasn’t. That rat and I had a soul connection and I knew that we were meant for each other somehow.

Eventually, my dad said he would think about it. He would think about it and we would just go to the pet store to see if she was there. If she was there, then we might get her. And that was fine because I figured as long as she had a loving home, that was all that really mattered.

But a part of me knew that she didn’t. I knew that she didn’t have a home yet because that part in my heart still knew she was mine.

We went to that pet store.

And, surely enough, she was there. She was there and she was looking at me with those big blue eyes and I knew I still had to have her.


He didn’t say anything.

“Just let me hold her and you’ll see.”


And so we got the pet store person. The pet store person took her out of her cage and gave me to her.

As she climbed on me, I couldn’t help but grin like a madwoman.

I told the pet store person that my dad was still reluctant about getting her so the pet store person talked about her. Said how she had been there for months and how that little rat had such a big personality.

And then Dad did it.

“Okay,” he said. “We can get her. But you know you have to pay for this, right? Cage too.”

I nodded.

So we got her and I finally got to hold her. As I felt her running around in that box, saw her peeking out her little nose out, I couldn’t help but be overjoyed.

We needed to come out with a name to encapsulate her personality. Eventually, we decided to call her Daisy.

Of course, I came to realize something about rats: they’re social creatures. Yes, Daisy was a great pet on her own and far more loving than any other pet that I got, but she needed a friend. When I was around, I was enough but when I walked away, she would press her little paws against the bars and beg for me to return. So I knew we had to get her a playmate for her well-being. At that point, my dad was worn down enough to get another rat, who we called Buttercup.

I have no regrets about my rats. They have filled my life with so much life that I can’t believe it.

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