Forrest Green lived in a lovely home with his mum, Fern, his dad, Herb and his sisters, Emerald and Jade.
Forrest always wanted a pet and every morning at the kitchen table he would say “Mum, can I have a pet please?” As the toast popped up, Fern would turn around and say “Now, Forrest, if I have told you once, I have told you a thousand times – you cannot have a pet; there is no room.” Forrest shrugged his shoulders and pulled a glum face. “Mum, I would really look after it. I’d clean it out, I would walk it and just ensure that it had a really nice, fun time.”
Mum turned around, looked at Forrest and said “Enough Forrest – eat your toast and get ready for school.” Forrest sighed, left the room and went to school.
The very next morning Forrest’s dad, Herb, sat at the kitchen table and said “Forrest, the next Star Wars film is on at the cinema, would you like to come with me? We can sit in the deluxe seats and eat some popcorn.” Forrest looked at Herb and said “Not really Dad, I’m not in the mood.” “Come on, Forrest” said Herb, “the force is strong my young padawan.” Forrest looked at Herb with a look that said “Dad, you are so uncool” but he pounced on an opportunity; “Dad? If I come to the Star Wars film with you would you talk to Mum for me about having a pet?” Herb said “A pet? If you’re interested, we’ll find a pet.” Herb thought for a moment; “Oh, has your Mum said no? Have you spoken to her about this already?”
Forrest quickly shook his head. “No Dad, she said it would be okay if you said it was.”
Herb pondered a moment and said “Well, okay Forrest but you know that having a pet with great power comes great responsibility.” Forrest groaned “Oh Dad, that is so Spiderman.” Herb smiled and said “what sort of pet do you want Forrest?” Forrest looked at Herb and said “Well, I have a list” and took from his pocket a crumpled sheet of paper and started reading from ‘Forrest’s list of pets’:
Hamster, but he decided he didn’t want a hamster.
Cat, but he decided he didn’t want a cat.
Dog, I thought that might be too noisy.
Rabbit, with big fluffy ears, but they live outside.
Possum, but they live in the roof. Forrest said “I would really like a koala bear” and Herb replied “But Forrest, they live in Australia.” Forrest said “Yes, that would be a problem wouldn’t it?” Herb nodded.
“Dad?” said Forrest; “Yes, son” Herb replied. “I would really like a fish, a goldfish.” Herb looked at Forrest and said “Okay, that’s a good idea. I think we should call a family conference.”
A little while later Fern, Herb and Forrest sat on the sofa: the two sisters, Jade and Emerald, were out for the day shopping. Herb looked at Forrest and said “Son, what would you like to say to your Mum?” Forrest looked at Fern and said “Mum, I have thought about it long and hard and I have decided that I would like a pet. I know you said I couldn’t have a pet but I would like a goldfish. The advantages of having a goldfish are that
it will be in a bowl of water,
it doesn’t require walking,
it won’t make a mess,
I can clean out the water tank
… and I can have it in my bedroom so you won’t need to see it.”
Fern looked at Herb then back at Forrest. Forrest then cupped his hand under his chin and fluttered his eyelashes. “Oh Forrest”, sighed Fern, “you can have a goldfish.” Herb said “Oh that’s great, all settled then; what will you call it Forrest?” Forrest thought for a little while.
“Do you know what Mum and Dad? I quite like the name Howard… Yes, Howard the fish.”