Guest Post: Pets

Hello everyone, and thank you for reading my guest post. My name is Mike Phillips and my new book is Hazard of Shadows. I was asked to share a little something about my personal life. I know lots of you have pets, so I thought I’d talk about that.
I grew up on a farm in West Michigan. We grew most of our own food and heated our house with wood, and even made our own furniture. For me, the best part of growing up on a farm was the animals. In addition to the livestock, we always had a dog and an abundance of barn cats. My absolute favorite, however, was my pet duck, Peeper. The poor thing didn’t get off to a good start. I remember that the mother and father duck had a nest of eggs, and we knew that it was about time for them to hatch. I had gone into the barn just before bed and been rewarded with the sound of little duck voices. Well, I didn’t want to disturb their momma, so I let them be and came back excited the next morning. What I found was a tragedy. A weasel had come in the night. Mother and father duck and about three ducklings lay dead on the ground. The dog caught up with weasel. It too met an unfortunate end. I was sick and in tears as I looked at it all, but heard a little voice behind me. A single duckling was left. I took it inside and raised it under a light bulb. All the while, I “peeped” at her so she would feel at home. That was a mistake, because even as an adult, Peeper never quite learned to quack just right.  
My next story is about my present life in suburbia. Never did I imagine that I would make a pet out of one of a farmer’s worse enemies. But life never seems to turn out the way we think it will. I have a pet rat. Yuck, I know, but they really are wonderful animals. I think of mine, Sassy, my second rat, as just a really small dog. They are good tempered and affectionate. They are smart as a whip, which is probably why they are so good at being a menace to farmers. My Sassy rolls around the house in a ball. She comes when I whistle and sits up when I snap my fingers. You do have to get used to the tail, which really isn’t that bad once you do. Just don’t look at the teeth.         
Thank you so much for joining me. I hope you enjoy Hazard of Shadows and the first book in the series, The World Below. Please visit me at mikephillipsfantasy.com.

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