By Jennifer Blizin Gillis

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Sample text

I hoped not. The studio’s air conditioners had been set for the comfort of menopausal polar bears. Boris was safely bundled in his wool bunting, but as the minutes ticked by he grew increasingly anxious to shed it. He was intrigued by the new surroundings and entranced by the attention he was getting from the cast and crew. Bob, the producer of the show, was Boris’s favorite. He was a soft-spoken young man with blond hair. Though Boris shied back from other males who tried to hold him (never females, that canny imp), he was happy to go to Bob.

After Boris was dressed, I’d bring him into the kitchen. While I warmed his bottle and prepared a bowl of lettuce, apples, and bananas, he’d chew on a piece of raisin bread and raid the cabinets for pots and pans. He’d drag them out onto the floor and bang them with a wooden spoon. When he tired of this, he’d bang his head with the spoon, then the table, the floor, my shins. If Ahab made the mistake of coming to the other side of the gate to investigate the noise, Boris would get him too. By the time I arrived at my office, I always felt as if I’d run the four-minute mile.

When we arrived home, we couldn’t wait to show Boris his new cage. It was the most impressive structure I’d ever seen in an apartment, especially with the oak-stained plywood Jerry had put over the two walls that had once been the corner of our dining room and were now half of the cage (so that Boris couldn’t damage the plaster) and the plush red rug that covered the floor. But Boris was more than impressed, he was overwhelmed. And small wonder! The cage dwarfed him. When we placed him inside, he looked like a child’s toy at the bottom of a pretty elevator shaft; he looked lost.

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