I used to love to go to the pet store, but then last week Mr. Schumacher told me I can't come in no more. They have such nice animals there, and I'm sad because now I can't touch them.

Mr. Schumacher, he owns the pet store, and he said to me, "No more, John! No more! Out!" and he called me the last straw, and he held the door open and pointed outside.

I don't know why he won't let me go in the pet store no more. I always behaved and helped out with stuff. I would collect the snakeskins after the snakes were done with them. I would talk to all the animals, and I would always make sure to use an inside voice so they wouldn't get scared and curl up in a ball. As soon as I got to the pet store, I would dig through the wood shavings at the bottom of the cages to make sure all the animals were still there. I would also give the animals birthday presents, like pens or batteries. I liked all the animals except for the mice, because mice die too easy.

I did other things to help, too, like fix the aquariums so they didn't bubble all the time. Once, I put all the hamsters and gerbils and guinea pigs in one cage together so they would be easier to count, and I cleaned all the numbers and dollar signs off the aquariums. When Big Macs were two for $2, I'd eat one and give the angelfish the other one.

I'm really going to miss the pet store. There were always lots of fun things to do there. I used to go every day after I got home from the factory where I put the covers on the sports bottles before they go in the big box. It is the best pet store in the world because the Pope shops there and all the animals are very happy. Going to the pet store was more fun than going to the mall to shake people's hands. It was even better than going to the zoo because I didn't have to ride the bus and have somebody throw my hat out the window.

I thought I was a friend to Mr. Schumacher. I used to help sweep up, and I would even bring my own broom from home to do it. Whenever I knocked over the fish bowls, I always picked up all the glass.

I went to the pet store Monday through Friday, except for days when I heard the yelling. Kelly is my job coach, and she told me to stay home on those days. I'm going to marry Kelly. Kelly told me that if I took my medicine every day and didn't do anything bad, she'd try to get me a job at the Humane Society.

I think I'm going to miss the parakeets most of all. When I stuck my hand in the cage, they would go crazy and fly around. I did that to help them get exercise so they wouldn't get fat and lazy and die of a heart attack like Uncle Mike. Who will help them get their exercise now?

One day, Mr. Schumacher told me not to bring in my broom anymore. He also told me to stop giving the gerbils Pepsi. Then he told me not to call 911 when I found a dead hamster and never to show up at his store without going to the bathroom first.

Since I'm not allowed in the pet store any more, all I can do is stand outside the window and yell loud enough for the animals to hear me. Then, when it gets late, and Mr. Schumacher turns off the big lighted sign and drives away in his station wagon, I walk home.