I got my first babysitting job at 13. Two kids ages 8 and 6 — old enough to know the difference between right and wrong, but young enough to see me as an authority figure, so I thought.
The evening started off perfectly; we played a board game, and I read them a story. I was surprised by how well behaved they were. They asked if they could play in their rooms before bed, and I said, “Sure, go ahead.” I stayed in the family room and did homework.
About 30 minutes later, I saw their cat — completely hairless. The kids shaved off all its fur! I panicked.
I sorely regretted not watching them like a hawk, and felt duped by their good behavior earlier, which obviously was just an act. How would I explain this to their parents?
Before I had a chance to find these kids, the parents returned. They thanked me for doing a good job and paid me. I couldn’t bring myself to tell them what happened. I accepted the money and left as fast as I could, sure that my parents would receive an angry phone call before I even got home. I was convinced my babysitting days were over.
Days passed without any contact from the parents. Later, I learned there is a breed of hairless cat called a Sphynx. They had recently bought one.
NEW QUERY: Tell us about a time when a sibling came through in a pinch.
The Washington Post is partnering with the Public Insight Network (PIN) to hear more of your 100 percent true stories taken from your own experience. Submit your answer to the query above online at http://wapo.st/edquery. By sharing your story, you become part of PIN — a network of more than 130,000 people who contribute to high-quality journalism. Editors will choose an entry to run in the Magazine, but we will also share more of your stories online. You can also submit to The Washington Post Magazine, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Include your daytime phone number. Recount your story in 250 words or fewer.