Sometimes I miss Norman. I can be thinking about something, and then it'll lead me to thinking about Norman, and then I'll suddenly realize he's gone, and it's like it all happened all over again. Sometimes the shock is too much for me, and I'll go out to the fen where he used to be, and look at the dusty stacks of 8-track tapes, and I'll think, "Norman listened to those." Or I'll step in a puddle somewhere, and think, "Norman used to make puddles like that. Only with a lot more particulate matter."

I remember Norman well. I remember the sound of his voice, hoarse from screaming at the monkeys all day, and the way he'd always greet me with a cheery "Go *hoot*, Daddy-O!" and how I never really knew what it meant. I remember the squishy sound his tail made when he scrambled back to his perch after being dislodged by one of the endless stream of injured Schnauzers that he used to nurse back to health. Or at least, he claimed that was what he did with them. I never asked.

No, I never asked because I respected Norman. Norman deserved respect. Norman practically squeezed the respect out of you if you didn't give him every last ounce of it, and if you still didn't give in, he'd kick you in the head and stomp on you until your lifeless body was only so much wet slime coating the forest floor. Hmm. Maybe I don't really miss Norman all that much after all.