The True Story of Nippy

Matthew shuffled happily into the kitchen. He was hungry and so was Nippy. They had been in the yard searching for worms. It had rained last night, and there were lots of worms wriggling in the grass. Matthew didn’t touch the worms. He wanted to, but he thought it was better just to watch them.

“What would you like for lunch?” Mother asked.

“Grilled cheese and an apple,” Matthew chirped. “It’s Nippy’s favorite.”

Mom smiled. Nippy was Matthew’s hamster. Mom didn’t think Nippy was real.

After lunch, Matthew told Mom that Nippy wanted chocolate pudding.

Mom placed a bowl of pudding on the table. “You can share this with Nippy,” she said.

When Matthew’s brother Timmy came home from school, Matthew and Nippy were coloring.

“Can I color a page?” Timmy asked.

“When Nippy is done,” said Matthew.

Timmy made a funny face. “Nippy can’t color. Nippy isn’t real,” he said.

Matthew didn’t answer.

When Dad came home from work, it was time for dinner.

“Nippy isn’t hungry,” said Matthew.

“He keeps talking about that hamster,” Timmy said. “Tell him to stop. Nippy isn’t real.”

Matthew looked sad.

Dad said, “Don’t worry about Nippy.”

After dinner, Matthew went to his room. He wanted to play with Nippy. But Nippy wasn’t there.

“I think Nippy ran away,” Matthew said to Mom.

Timmy made another funny face. “How can Nippy run away? Nippy isn’t real.”

When morning came, everyone was busy getting ready for the day. Matthew didn’t want to get up. Then Dad came to the door. He looked surprised.

“Nippy is on the phone,” Dad told Matthew.

Matthew rubbed his eyes. He made a funny face.

“How can Nippy be on the phone?” Matthew asked.

Timmy heard Dad and came into the room too. He was smiling at Dad and Matthew. “You better get the phone,” he told Matthew. “Nippy will want to play with you today.”

Matthew laughed. “Okay,” he said. “I’ll talk to Nippy.”

When he got to the phone, there was nobody there. Matthew made another funny face.

“Maybe he got tired of waiting,” Timmy said.

Dad went to work, and Timmy went to school. Mom and Matthew went out to play in the yard.

“The grass is dry now,” Mom said.

Matthew stood still for a short time. Then he laughed and made a funny face. He pointed to the swing set. “I’m going on the swings with Nippy,” he said.

Mom smiled as she watched Matthew run to play with Nippy. It didn’t matter to her that she couldn’t see Nippy. She was happy that Matthew had Nippy to play with.

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Maria Kuzmiak, M.A. is a health and well-being writer with a background in nutrition, psychology and education and a passion for yoga. She has written hundreds of articles, blogs and newsletters for clients in health-related fields, particularly those specializing in yoga, natural medicine, nutrition, and spiritual health and healing. Maria has also worked as a nutritionist, teacher and technical editor. Learn more about her writing at

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