The Grand Old Menagerie #shortstory #flashfiction

The security guard picked up his clipboard. ‘Name?’

‘Vera Copula.’

The guard looked nonplussed. ‘You the vet?‘

‘I’m the President’s Gift Vet.’

‘You’re a gift?’

‘As I understand it, several foreign leaders have gifted the POTUS a pet. I’m here to check them over.’

‘Hey, that explains the sheep the Brits sent.’ He indicated a shaggy white-haired beast wandering around aimlessly while making incomprehensible noises.

Vera followed where he pointed. ‘Oh no, I think that’s part of their trade delegation. According to the list, the Brits sent a rat called Nigel.’

‘I’ve seen him. Seems confused most of the time.’

‘Yeah I heard.’

‘What else?’

‘Well the Canadian guy, Trudeau, he’s sent a small furry beaver to keep the Big Man amused – seems the make great lap pets. The notes say it’s a Trudeau family speciality.’


‘And President Putin provided a hybridised bat, called Vlad. Has a very specific liquid diet and avoids daylight.’

‘Anyone send a cat.’

‘Yes. Several little pussies. The Europeans clubbed together and sent one called Merkel. Not your average lap cat, though. Steel claws and just no sense of humour.’

That’s really great, isn’t it. Any exotics?’

‘The Mexicans sent a box of whistling cockroaches but they escaped and no one knows where they are. And then there’s the Israeli gift. It’s a new one on me.’

‘What is it?’

‘Well that’s just it. Here, see for yourself.’ She held up a picture.

‘Weird. Looks like a big cat, kinda like a lion.’

‘But the head could be a goat.’

‘And the tail’s definitely a snake. Must be a mistake. I suppose you’ll send it back?’

‘Apparently the Boss loves it. He feels they’ve really found something to represent all he stands for.’

‘So what do they call it then?’

‘A chimera.’


About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published two anthologies of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand and Life in a Flash. More will appear soon, including a memoir of my mother's last years. I will try and continue to blog regularly at about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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29 Responses to The Grand Old Menagerie #shortstory #flashfiction

  1. stevetanham says:

    To boldly go! cracklin stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Merkel…steel claws, no sense of humor…lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, excellent. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very clever! (I feel I’ve said that before recently) If only world leaders would say what they really think to that potus ………… and send suitable ‘gifts’ . 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. willowdot21 says:


    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m sorry. I cracked up. I especially like the Israeli gift, but they’re all rather representative. 😀 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. James Smith says:

    Really well done. Good on ya! I’ll smile every time I think of it.


  8. slrman says:

    Well done! I will smile every time I think of this.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mick Canning says:

    Love it, Geoff. A rat called Nigel! Arf!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Charli Mills says:

    Geoff, you can be the British version of Mark Twain any day! I had to read this one out loud. We laughed! If I find your country’s rat, what should I do with it? And that bat… That bat is bad news… But we’ll keep Merkel. I wonder if the Big Man knows how to take care of the beaver? They can bite back if grabbed and have bitten logs in two.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh, hell, this is brilliant. (I know nothing of what you speak.)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Just to note, I felt your piece showed a good sense of humour, but was very insulting to rats, which are often very intelligent and amenable animals, but I’m having a day off from taking offence on the internet so I’ll let this one slide. On the other hand, Haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I wonder if the sheep was from Wales?

    Liked by 1 person

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