Genre: Wee!Chester, humor
Characters: Sam (age 6); Dean (age 10); Bobby
Word Count: approx. 1450
Summary/Challenge Prompt: Wee!Sam keeps dragging every critter he can catch back over his summer vacation to Bobby's. Daddy said no pets in the motel or the 'Pala but Bobby had the final say at his house. It's all fun and games until he drags home....
THE SAMMY DOLITTLE EXPERIENCE
It all started with a jar of lightning bugs.
Bobby Singer had agreed to take John Winchester’s boys, Dean and Sam, for an indeterminate amount of time over the summer so John could follow some promising leads on whatever it was that had killed his wife. Bobby was just coming off a broken arm and wrenched back from a miserable hunt gone wrong and decided having a ten-year-old and a six-year-old around for a while wouldn’t be such a bad thing while he was still taking a break. They were old enough to help out a bit around the place, and he in turn, could perhaps show them a bit of summer fun while they were there.
Their first night with him, he sat on the porch having a beer and watching while the two boys whooped and hollered, running around catching lightning bugs and placing them in an old Mason jar he’d scrounged up. They caught a half dozen before growing tired and joining him on the porch. Dean poked holes in the lid for air. Sammy, utterly fascinated, had then lugged the jar upstairs with him when it was time for bed.
The next morning, a sobbing Sam hurried down the stairs to the kitchen toting the jar, now containing six dead bugs. Dean, the consummate big brother, worked hard to console his little brother with hugs and encouraging words. Eventually a promise from Bobby of pancakes for breakfast followed by a proper funeral for the ‘Lite-Brite’ bugs helped calm the youngster down.
A few days later, Sam came back to the house with a mouse in his pocket. Bobby cringed a bit as the little boy gently extracted the mouse and held it up for display. “Can I keep ‘im, Uncle Bobby?”
“Pleeeease…I already named him Squeak!” Sam chortled gleefully. His floppy chestnut bangs drooped over his eyes.
Darting a furtive look at Dean, who complacently shrugged, Bobby replied, “All right, fine. Let’s see if I have an old shoebox around here somewhere that Squeak can call home.”
A week later, the younger Winchester tore into the house cupping another furry little creature in his hands. “Uncle Bobby! Uncle Bobby, look!” He opened his hands to reveal a tiny chipmunk. “Can Chippy stay too?”
“Hey, maybe he can stay in Squeak’s box with him!”
Bobby adjusted the dirty trucker’s cap on his head and rubbed a hand through his graying beard. “I don’t think that’s a good idea, son. There’s another shoebox upstairs in the closet where I found the last one. Why don’t ya go grab that one and make…uh…Chippy…a home of his own.”
Once Sam had disappeared upstairs, Bobby rounded on Dean and muttered not unkindly, “Boy, what’re ya doin’ let him lug home all these rodents?”
Dean shrugged. “They kinda just…come to him, Uncle Bobby. I mean, he sees them and talks to them, and they kinda just,” the ten-year-old paused and shrugged again before finishing, “walk right up to him. What am I supposed to do? Besides, it’s kinda fun having them around.”
“Yeah, well, you don’t have to worry ‘bout him gettin’ bit.”
Dean shook his head. “Nah, they won’t bite him. They’re more likely to bite me.”
“Fine,” growled Bobby. He reached out and ruffled Dean’s short hair. “But try to put the kibosh on this, will ya? I’m doubtin’ your daddy’d be too thrilled with any of this.”
The next day, Sam showed up with a small young bunny rabbit whom he’d already named Bounce. A large box was acquired and filled with grass before the boys even entered the house. Bobby hung his head in defeat, though not before detecting a certain glint in Dean’s eye. “What’s this one?”
“A rabbit named Bounce,” replied Dean.
“Your little brother’s got a gift for naming these critters,” muttered Bobby.
That evening the owner of Singer Salvage had the boys gather up the growing menagerie of “pets” and bring them outside. Using scrap pieces of wood and other leftover materials, Bobby proceeded to build a multi-dwelling pen with a generously-sized cubbyhole for each critter. He felt a bit like Radar O’Reilly in M*A*S*H as he helped relocate the brood to their new homes and found himself talking to each one.
After packing up his tools, he turned to the Winchester boys. “Now then, ya have a couple of spaces left in this pen. Here’s the deal—once ya fill it up, you’re done. No more critters.”
“But…” Sam’s lower lip started to move outward into a pout.
Bobby hardened his heart a bit. “Nope.” He tapped the wooden pen with his hand. “When this is full, we’re done. They’ll keep us plenty busy. Got it?”
“Yes, sir.” The answer came in stereo as both boys answered at once.
At the end of the week, Bobby took the boys fishing at the small creek that ran through the very back of his property. There weren’t many fish and none were really edible, but it was a fine way to pass a summer morning if you had the time, and they had the time. He wasn’t surprised at all when Sam showed up at his side a mere twenty minutes later and shoved a frog toward his face.
“Look! He—he just hopped right up to me!” Sam’s grubby fingers stroked the frog’s head. “Isn’t he somethin’! I think I’m gonna call him…Fuzzy!”
Bobby did a double take. “Wait—you’re gonna…you’re gonna call a frog FUZZY? Why?”
Sam’s narrow shoulders rose and fell. “’Cause that’s what it looks like his name should be.”
Befuddled by the kid’s logic, Bobby shook his head. “Never mind. Forget I asked.” He reluctantly packed up the fishing gear knowing their outing was at an end. “Well, let’s get him home with some water before he croaks.”
Dean snickered. “Hey, Uncle Bobby, that was a pretty good joke!”
“Yeah, I’m a regular Bob Hope,” the older man groused.
A blissfully quiet week passed with no more crazy critters added to the collection. Bobby was just about convinced that Sammy’s little foray into Dr. Doolittle territory was over when he heard Dean shouting rather frantically from outside.
“Uncle Bobby! Uncle Bobby! You better come outside! Quick!”
Bobby tore out onto the porch. “Boy, what’s goin’ on? I was in the middle of makin’ dinner…” Then the smell hit and Bobby gagged as his eyes began to water. “Holy hell…” His gaze fell on Sam, who was cradling a very young skunk in his arms—a skunk that apparently had very recently sprayed his atrocious scent.
Sammy eyed him uncertainly. “Uncle Bobby, can we keep him?”
Bobby threw his arm up to cover his nose in an attempt to block the smell. “No!”
“Please. It’s not Mr. Stinky’s fault that he got scared and squirted! He didn’t aim for me or Dean! It just kinda happened. And he promises to be good from now on. I’ll give him a bath and everything!"
Bobby squinted through the tears in his eyes. The god-awful smell didn’t seem to bother either of the young Winchesters. “I’ll tell ya what—we’ll discuss it later. For now, go put Mr. Stinky in that old shed on the other side of that car pile. And then get right back here so ya both can take a bath! Ya ain’t sittin’ down at the dinner table smelling like that. It’s enough to melt my eyeballs.”
The hunter watched the boys determinedly march off toward the shed. He shook his head and smiled crookedly despite the lingering odor in the air. He was already thinking about a possible vet visit to have Mr. Stinky de-scented. They said skunks made good pets if they were de-scented. Bobby laughed, imagining the black-and-white critter roaming all over the house.
Singer prayed this was the last addition to the menagerie. Sammy was going to be heartbroken enough when John returned to pick them up. More critters would mean more heartbreak. But for now both the boys were enjoying having the assortment of creatures to look after, and Dean was proving to be just as tenderhearted toward them as that scamp, Sam. Bobby had no idea what he would do with them all once the boys were gone. Maybe they’d remain in his care. Whatever happened, he knew that the Winchester brothers were currently having the time of their lives. Experiencing what all little boys and girls should on long, hot summer days. And that made it all worthwhile.
Bobby turned and headed into the house, eager to get the bathwater drawn. He intended to add bubble bath too. Lots and lots of bubble bath. And maybe vinegar…or was that tomato juice?