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Story listed as: Fiction For Adults | Theme: General Interest | Subject: Comedy / Humor | Published here : 12/20/2016
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Switched 
 
By Marilyn Epplin Crain
Born 1952, F, from Pinckneyville, IL, United States
Switched

Lifting my eyelids, I was exposed to the intense beams from the early morning sun, momentarily blinding me. I shook my head and attempted to roll onto my back for my morning leg stretches when I discovered a couple problems. First, my legs were hairless, and second my feet were huge! I made a stab at swiping my nose with my front paw when I realized it was missing! What the howl!! Heavy breathing noises could be heard nearby. I tried to flip my head sideways searching for the origination of the sound. My head seamed to weigh a ton! It was then that I noticed myself standing in the bedroom doorway. Myself! I blinked to readjust my eyes. Yes, that was me. A Springer Spaniel with huge round dark brown eyes, long hanging silky ears, with a cute freckled accented muzzled. What a beauty! Admiring myself, I had to admit Grammy was right when she said, “They broke the mold, the day you were born.” I was pacing back and forth as I usually do to get Grampy’s attention. Nature was calling for me to explore the outdoors. At that moment, it struck me; if that was me, then who was I?

I took another peek at my legs. Oh bark! Long, hairless legs with red toenails. My front paws were shorter, also had red nails and no fur. As I raked my paws over my chest, I discovered two knots. This would have shocked me senseless if I had not discovered I was in Grammy and Grampy’s bed. I was never allowed in the bedroom, let alone the bed. The snoring noise, I realized, was coming from Grampy. It didn’t take a bolt of lightning for me to discover, I was Grammy! If I was Grammy, then where was I? Piercing brown eyes were staring into the bedroom from the doorway. Arf, arf. Grammy was me!

I rolled out of bed, and miraculously landed on my back legs, managing to stand upright. Well, I thought, this little trick would have earned me a treat yesterday. What am I thinking? I know where the treats are kept. I slowly made my way to the kitchen with Grammy at my side. She was moving much faster than me. Opening a cabinet is considerably easier when you are taller and have working thumbs! Grammy began doing her rendition of the bark. I didn’t understand why she was so upset. After all, I had never seen her or Grampy eat my treats.

Grampy appeared in the kitchen with my leash in hand. Grammy began running circles around Grampy.
“Stand still, Pepper,” Grampy roared.
He then glanced my way. “What are you eating?” he asked.
It took a couple tries before I could get the word out, “Biscuit,” I said. He squinted and made a face as he dragged Grammy out the door. She didn’t seem very happy to be going. I moved to the window to get a better look. Grammy wasn’t playing her part very well. She wasn’t interested in poking my nose into the holes in the ground or sniffing the deposits from the neighborhood dogs. As a matter of fact, she didn’t even make a move for the young squirrel stationed near the old oak tree.

Finishing my treat, I looked around for more; I could really get into this. I needed a drink. For years, I had watched Grammy and Grampy run water from a crooked pipe. Pulling the lever down as I had seen done, the water began to flow. Wow! I thought. I put my face under the stream and began to drink just as Grampy stepped in the door.
“What, we out of clean glasses?” he asked.
Trying to think fast, I yelped out, “Yep.”
He opened his mouth to question me more when the small box he occasionally talks into began to ring. He picked it up and headed upstairs.
Thank…. you…. little… box!

I realized Grammy hadn’t come back in. Glancing out the window, I noticed she was chained to the old oak tree in the back yard. Well, well, well, this is interesting, I thought. As I was getting use to maneuvering myself on two legs, I stepped out the patio door. Old Stubby, the squirrel, peered around the corner of the waterfall. I licked my lips as I strode in his direction. He started to creep across the lawn; I picked up the pace. We were both racing for the giant willow tree. I was beginning to think I could move much faster on all four when he made a long jump and landed on a branch in the tree. There we were; he in the tree and me on the ground. I looked around and noticed Grampy’s ladder against the house. Why not, I thought. By now, I was fairly skilled at using my new hands and arms. The ladder was heavier than I realized but I managed to move it against the tree. As I advanced up, Old Stubby did the same. I was actually in a tree; something I had always wanted to do. We were both at the top with nowhere else to go; no buildings close enough for Stubby to leap on. I had him! It had only taken me three years and Grammy’s body to do it. Just then Grampy appeared at the foot of the tree.
“Now what are you doing?” he shouted.
I glanced down at the old oak tree. Grammy was standing on all fours, staring at me. She was no help. I had always heard humans have much larger brains than canines, but, I could not come up with an explanation. Stubby was within reach; the best chance I had or probably would ever have in catching him. Oh, what to do! Being human didn’t seem to be as awesome as I thought it would. As I backed down the tree, Grampy was still insisting on an explanation.
“Oh, you know, just climbing a tree to see if I could still do it,” I replied.
“What has gotten into you today?” he asked. “I catch you eating one of Pepper’s treats and the next thing I see you climbing a tree.”
“Don’t worry about it,” I remarked. “As I said, just wanted to see if I could do it.”
“I have to run an amp out to Jeff’s. While I am gone, you should stay out of the trees,” he smirked. It didn’t matter; Stubby was long gone.
“Oh, do me a favor,” he yelled as he opened his car door, “give Pepper some water and return that tarp to Randy across the street.”
“Sure,” I muttered under my breath.

I stood there for a second staring at Grammy, her staring back at me. She began whining.
“I don’t sound anything like that,” I commented. She wined louder.
“Okay, okay, I’ll get water.”
I went back into the house with all intentions of getting my water bowl, but as I passed the refrigerator, it hit me. I always see Grammy and Grampy getting food out of it. I opened the refrigerator, poked my head in and sniffed around. Bingo! A slab of prime meat. I wolfed it down on the spot. I don’t know why humans need to use utensils; these hands are a marvelous tool. Next, I grabbed a large milk jug, pried off the lid and chugged the contents. I sniffed some green grassy looking leaves, no, I decided to pass on these. There had to be more meat, I could smell it. When I pulled open a drawer, I found my favorite, hot dogs. Next to them laid a package of cheese. Wow! I hit the mother lode! It tasted so good; I barely chewed it before it hit my stomach. Hmmm, I thought, maybe just one more thing. I opened another carton on the top shelf. It contained soft small white chunks that tasted like cheese embedded in what resembled to be milk. Quite tasty, I thought.
Enough for now.

I took my water bowl out to Grammy. She wouldn’t touch it, just kept whining and staring at me with those huge puppy dog eyes. I shook my head, darn cute! I am! “I have never seen you look more adorable, Grammy,” I mumbled. “Don’t look so worried. With my brain and your body, there is absolutely nothing I can’t do. I have already cleaned the refrigerator for you. I don’t understand why you hate that job.”

Let’s see, I have watered me and next I need to return the tarp to Randy. No problem. I gathered it up and walked across the street. Just as I stepped into the yard, Lady Bear wandered from the garage on all four furry legs barking. I started to back off remembering the time she jumped me, bearing her sharp canine teeth into my skin. Wait a minute, I thought. I have seen Grammy pet her many times. I continued across the lawn; Lady Bear’s bark turned into a malicious growl. As I stepped on the porch, she lunged at me. “Hey,” I said, “it’s me, the nice lady from across the street.” She was not buying it. Maybe she knew I was me, but how? Well, of course, animals are a lot smarter than humans give them credit. I dropped the tarp and ran as fast as my two human legs would carry me, back to my safe haven across the street.

I was tired. It was time for my mid-morning nap. I tried curling up on my bed, but couldn’t adjust my large human structure to fit. I then decided to use Grammy and Grampy’s bed. Ahh, this was comfy.
“I am home,” Grampy yelled. “Where are you?”
Crap! I was just about to doze off.
“Taking a nap,” I said.
“Why, you sick?” asked Grampy.
“No, just tired,” I commented.
“Good,” replied Grampy. “Can you go to the hardware store and pick up the paint for the garage; they should have it mixed by now. I am going to finish sanding the walls.”
Good grief! Who was his slave yesterday? Oh, yeah, Grammy.
“Sure,” I squeaked.
“I left the keys in the jeep,” Grampy remarked.
Miss Jeepers, I had never ridden in the front seat before, let alone driven it. How difficult could it be. If Grammy could do it, so could I. I placed myself behind the steering wheel, looked down at the keys and tried to visualize Grammy starting it. I turned the keys and the motor roared. Yes! I can do this. I began imagining myself speeding down the highway, windows down, wind blowing through my long silky-smooth ears. As I touched my ear, I realized being human had its’ drawbacks. “Let’s go, Miss Jeepers,” I said. She didn’t move. Now what? I looked down between the seats and remembered Grammy moving the lever. I moved it one notch and Miss Jeepers jerked backwards. It startled me, causing my foot to hit a peddle on the floor. Miss Jeepers stopped. I moved one more notch and took my foot off the peddle. She rolled forward. We were off!

We went down the street and around the corner. I knew if I turned the wheel, Miss Jeepers would turn, so together we turned and turned some more and managed to dodge other vehicles. After several streets, I was getting the hang of it. I wondered where the hardware store was located. Oh, well, I thought, I have been gone long enough. I stuck my nose out the window and followed it home.
“Where’s the paint?” asked Grampy when I returned.
“Wasn’t mixed yet,” I answered.
“Looks like I will need more sandpaper, so I’ll get it later then,” replied Grampy. “Thanks for checking.”
“No problem,” I said.
I went around the back of the house to see if Grammy was still outside. As I got to the corner, nature called. I squatted beside Grammy’s banana tree just as Mr. Bill, the backyard neighbor came out of his garage. He hollered, “Hi neighbor,” then put his head down and faced the other way. Strange man, I thought.

It was way past my nap, so I flopped in the hammock on the patio and fell sound asleep. As I awoke, I felt someone rubbing my head. Opening my eyes, I saw ME smiling at ME, no, it was Grammy smiling at me with a man standing beside her. I know that man!
“She came through the surgery fine,” explained the vet. “You can take her home, but you’ll need to keep a close eye on her to make sure she doesn’t chew through the stitches. Make an appointment in 12 days to have them removed.”
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