Wednesday, March 12, 2014

BSC #22: Jessi Ramsey, Pet-sitter

By Ann M. Martin. Published March 1989.

Jessi is looking forward to a week off. Her ballet school is closed, and the Braddocks are on vacation. However, a special job comes up through the BSC. The Mancusis are a couple with a whole house load of pets. They are about to leave on their dream vacation, and their pet-sitter suddenly backed out. At first Kristy is totally against any of the girls taking the job, having had her own bad experience. But Jessi volunteers, and she gets the job.

Jessi goes over to meet the Mancusis and their menagerie, and get all the instructions she needs. They have dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, birds, fish, turtles, and a snake. This seems like a really big job for an eleven-year-old. I’m dog sitting this weekend, and I’m a little nervous, and there are only two of them.

Her first day goes well. She notices a fat hamster that sleeps away from the pile of others, and she decides she’ll keep an eye on him.

Claudia’s sitting for Jamie Newton, and Nina Marshall comes over to play. They are bouncing-off-the-walls hyper, so Claudia thinks a field trip is in order. So she takes them over to the Mancusis, and Jessi shows them around. I would really feel weird if I knew a bunch of strangers were touring around my house.

At the next BSC meeting, Kristy is in full-on bitch dictator mode, and the other older girls really don’t like it. And they start complaining about their officer jobs. They try to bring Jessi and Mal into it, but they just want to stay neutral.

Time for another field trip to the Mancusis. This time it’s Mary Anne and the Perkins girls. Mary Anne ends up letting the snake, Barney, escape from his aquarium. Good going, Mary Anne. I’m shocked she’d get close enough to a snake to let him out, though. They look and look for him, and then Perfect Myriah remembers that snakes are coldblooded, and is probably trying to warm up. They find him napping in the sun on the porch, and get him back to his home.

At the next meeting, Kristy comes in with a checklist for her to keep track if the girls are reading the notebook. She pins it up right over pictures of Claudia and Stacey together. Claudia is having none of that shit, and rips it down. They fight over it and end up tearing it. Claudia, Mary Anne, and Dawn call for new elections. Kristy finally gives in, and calls them to be that Saturday. Jessi and Mal are still trying to stay out of it.

Kristy sits for Jackie, and he accuses her of being bossy. He may be a walking disaster, but he’s got a good read on people.

That Friday’s meeting is pretty much silent, aside from assigning jobs. Until Kristy tells them how elections are going to go. The other girls think they should have had some say in it. Jessi and Mal are freaking out.

Jessi is still worried on Saturday morning, and calls Mal, who is feeling the same way. Jessi then has a talk with her mother about it. She wants her mom to tell her how to vote, but she tells her to vote for who she thinks is the best for the job. I really like the Ramsey parents; they’re so good normally, and Jessi actually talks to them, which makes for a nice change. But then Island Adventure happens, and I just can’t forget that.

Jessi goes over to take care of the animals. When she checks on the fat hamster, it almost bites her. That’s when she realizes something is wrong, and something has been wrong all along. Jessi feels terribly guilty, but then springs into action. She calls her mom, who agrees to take her to the vet, because, again, she’s a pretty good mom.

While waiting at the vet’s, Jessi realizes she’ll never make the special election meeting. She calls Kristy, and she is actually ok with it. It is for a job. They reschedule for the next day.

The vet says the hamster is actually fine, just very, very pregnant. She should give birth within the next twenty-four hours. Jessi takes her back home, and gets her comfortable in a separate cage.

When she checks on her the morning, there are still no babies. So she meets Mal to walk to the meeting together. Jessi knows what she is going to do, and feels pretty good about it. She just votes to keep everybody where they are, that they’re truly the best at their positions.

When Kristy goes through the ballots, she just ends up laughing. Everybody did exactly what Jessi did. Oh, you silly girls. And Kristy apologizes for being so bossy lately. So everything is back to normal, and they all take a trip over to the Mancusis’ together. A few of the babies have arrived, and they keep coming. Mary Anne gets grossed out.

Jessi shoos the girls out, and waits for the Mancusis to return home. When they do, they’re surprised about the new additions (ten in all), but impressed with how Jessi handled things. They say her family can have one in a few weeks, if she gets permission. She does. She should also ask around for anyone else who wants one. The Pikes will get one, and so will the Rodowskys.

o   During one of Kristy’s bossy bits, Dawn mutters something that “doesn’t sound nice.” The thought of a BSC girl swearing fills me with joy.


  1. Dawn learned it from Sharon, see Snowbound ;)

    Claudia apparently swears into the wind in Island Adventure, haha. I imagine both girls were cursing up a storm while on Nine O'Clock Island...

    1. I bet they were, too. It's so nice to have reminders every once in a while that they're not perfect.