The tikus putih comes in a box - no room for food, no holes for air. When Vina shakes it, nothing squeaks. Instead, the contents faintly clunk. Upon her opening the package (postmarked Northern California), she is sorely disappointed. White mouse? Yes. Condition? Dead - leastwise inert. It has a tail, of sorts, if longer than is natural, and a name - or three initials; IBM its label states. She yanks it out, unwinds its cord - by which she twirls it overhead - then SLAMS its ergonomic body into micro-smithereens.   

"BLENDER!" Vina hollers on her rampage through the foyer, up the staircase, down the hallway to her father's private lair, a room that no one dares to enter uninvited - much less bellowing, gnashing teeth, and threatening mayhem. "CUT, CUT, CUT," cries Vina, "CHOP! I'm going to cook you, Poppie, slice you into itsy-bitsy pieces and sauté you," she announces at the threshold, where she halts, where she thinks better of her tirade once confronting him who spurred it. Poppie's tear collector gives his daughter pause to simmer down, since it is full to overflowing; both its brown-glass bottles brim.

Could he be missing Vina's
mother, after all these
years, so sadly, so profusely
as to keep alive the planet's
largest flower,
for he continues to anoint
the thirsty roots of their
Rafflesia. Every morning,
in the greenhouse,
he attends its pungent
bud as though his wife
might resurrect
upon its blooming.

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