10 Fantasy Animals I'd Like as Pets

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'Tis the season for incredibly irresponsible gifts. Many people go out and get pets for a loved one, only to find that they're stuck with a 15-year-commitment that craps behind the couch every night. If you're going to take the pain, why not get a really good pet to go along with it?

10. Crookshanks

I know, I know, Harry Potter made owls all the rage as pets, but if I'm going to get behind a pet that can fly up high and poop on my head, it's going to have to do more than deliver my messages. I've got email for that. Hermione's cat, Crookshanks, would be a much better pet. First, it has all the things I, personally, like in a cat, in that it is cuddly, huge, furry, and orange. Secondly, it is half-kneazle, a magic, intelligent animal. Finally, it solves crimes. When compared to a giant magic orange furball that fights evil, an owl can go choke on a mouse.


9. Puss in Boots

They said it in the movie; "Look at him! In his little boots!" That's all you need to know. (Just lock your bedroom door or things could get disturbing.)


8. An ROUS

The ROUS, or Rodents Of Unusual Size, prowl the Fire Swamp in The Princess Bride. They viciously attack anyone who goes near them, and one takes a bite out of Wesley's shoulder. They're evil, snarling beasts, and I'd only want them if I could get a castle and have them released at night, on camera, to attack burglars, convicted criminals, or peasants who had been unsuitably surly with me.


7. A Fell Beast

Am I the only one who thought the Nazgul, from The Lord of the Rings, didn't have it so bad? Sure, they had to be enslaved to an evil lord, but they got immortality, nifty black cloaks, plenty of opportunities travel, wore the rings (which were their drug of choice), and nobody gave them any crap, except elves, and elves pretty much gave everyone crap, the little snots. Plus, they got Fell Beasts. Fell beasts were huge winged creatures (also black or gray, very chic), that carried the Nazgul into battle. There are plenty of dragons in fantasy fiction, but they often have their own goals, and are annoyingly playful. The Fell Beasts flew silently, did what they were told, and willingly carried the Nazgul anywhere, even into battle. A good, reliable flyer who does what you say; definitely the practical pet for people with ground to cover.


6. A Totoro Dust Sprite

In My Neighbor Totoro a couple of kids and their father move into a country house that has stood empty for years. In one scene, the kids open up a door to find the room crammed full of these little fuzzy little balls that retreat into corners. A neighbor informs them that they are dust sprites, or mites, or something. They move into old houses. They make cute little sounds, stay out of the way, and scare children, so I like them. The neighbor says that they only clear out if the person moving into the house is a 'good person,' so these are the creatures on my list that I'm most likely to have as pets.


5. A Jabberwocky

To be honest, I'd just to see what it looks like. They would also be a funny pet to give in an unlabeled box. Part of the fun of the gift would seeing them stare blankly at it and say, "Oh! It's a - yes, I've always wanted one of . . . these. Is it only one? Because I think I see a second head in there."


4. A Baby Sun-Eater

This little guy played a small part in All-Star Superman. Superman found him drifting, orphaned, in space, and took him back to the Fortress of Solitude to take care of him. The sun eater itself is not very interesting. It mostly looks like wadded-up black cloth, but it leads to the great image of Superman hammering out little suns on his anvil, and scattering them in front of the Sun Eater like glowing chicken feed. I know the thing would grow until it devoured our sun, our solar system, and possibly the spiral arm of our galaxy, but is it really that much more irresponsible than an Easter duck? Remember, ducks live about thirty years.


3. Flying Monkeys

Fly, my pretties! Fly! 'Nuff said.

2. A Footstool Dog

In Beauty and the Beast, the Prince's household all get turned into objects at the same time that he gets turned into a Beast. This made me wait for the end in great anticipation, hoping that one of his newly-human servants would come up to him and scream, "Oh you had spend the last five years as a hairy beast, did you? Boo hoo! I had to spend them as a chamber pot! You and your bookish girlfriend can go straight to hell!" Interestingly, even a dog gets changed into an object - a footstool. That's one I hoped wouldn't turn back, because it would make a great pet. It can't chew the furniture. It can't crap in your shoes. It can't piddle on the rug (which had to be a great relief to whichever servant got turned into a rug). Since it was a velvet footstool, it probably even got softer than it had been as a dog. That's a great pet.


1. A Kraken

There's not much backstory on the Kraken, so I am going to make one up. I would like to think that, when you get a Kraken, it's an adorable little thing that you keep in a bowl, and feed fish food, and it makes squeaky noises. Then it gets a little bigger and wraps around the shower nozzle, or gets up like a walking octopus and runs through the sprinklers with you, and maybe helps you with the dishes. Then it graduates to sitting in the bathtub and plays with your rubber duckies. Then comes the slightly awkward phase, where it's so huge that it doesn't quite fit in the bath, but it's not like you can just afford a house with a pool, so you have to scout out who's on vacation and dump it in their pools, and maybe take it to a nearby park and put it in a pond and feign ignorance when local people ask what happened to all the ducks that used to hang out here.


And then, at last, it outgrows you, and you rent a truck and drive it to the ocean, and say a tearful goodbye. As it swims off into the water you wish it well, and you're struck by how very alone you feel without it as a companion. And you spend a few years coming back to see it whenever you can, but you're both a little lonely. At last, though, you're settled in your career. You're doing well. You move close to the beach - not a great house by any means, nothing like the places they have in Malibu, but you like it just fine and there's a grocery store on the corner that's open late - and then, then someone crosses you. And you climb the highest hill above the ocean, you sit up atop a cliff and channel Liam Neeson, and say, "Release the Kraken!" And at last, people shall know your power, and all the world's oceans shall be yours, and the mighty shall tremble before you and your new pet, and your reign shall be long, dark days from which the world will never truly recover. And truly, you will taste ultimate power. You, and your mighty Kraken.


And that's what I'd like for Christmas.

Top Image: Puss In Boots

Fell Beast Image: LoTR Wikia

Kraken Image: Pirates of the Caribbean Wikia