Some days the words slide out of your brain like oil across a greasy slab of ice. Today ain’t one of those days. I find myself distracted, staring out the window at our neighbor’s cocker spaniel. This little pooch spends as much time at our house as he does at his own. Of course, this special dog is so friendly it’s a pleasure to have him around.
Interaction with this captivating canine brings to memory a blog I posted several weeks ago, about my pal Wilbur. The story chronicled the friendship and high jinx between a boy and his alligator.
As I sat, memories of pets I had owned began to fly through the window of my brain, not unlike Dorothy’s visions in the Wizard of Oz as she spun round the interior of a tornado.
I finally reached the abyss which houses all things animal. Knowing that any resistance was useless, I closed my eyes and plunged into the dark recesses of my mind.
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Once I hit bottom, I was a young man again, old enough to drive, but too young to have developed a sense for the value of a dollar. What does one do in such a case as this?
I cannot speak for others, but this enterprising young lad slapped good money on the counter for a brand-new boa constrictor and what would become said constrictor’s first home cooked meal.
Imagine my excitement when I arrived home and began rearranging one corner of my room dedicated solely for my, as yet, unnamed pet.
An aquarium provided the general living quarters, blue gravel carpeted the floor and a piece of slate, suitable for hiding under or sunning oneself, with an all-inclusive light bulb mounted on the ceiling.
I set the scaly little beast into his new abode. Eureka! I had created a showplace including one happy little reptile of the slithering variety. I gave him a day to get used to his surroundings and then began to tackle the necessities this creature would need to survive. After all, a pet owner must be responsible and responsibility was job one as far as I was concerned.
Due to the miracle of the written word, it is now 24 hours later.
And now for that first home cooked meal… I’ll have to admit that the last statement isn’t totally accurate. It’s true that we were at home and that a meal was forthcoming; but to say “cooked” is a bit of a stretch. It’s more like rare… Okay, it’s raw and maybe even alive. I’m having a hard time determining the “alive” part. It won’t stay still long enough for me to catch it.
All right, I confess. I’m about to feed a living creature (a little white mouse) to a ravenous beast, probably among the most hated in the world–the deadly boa constrictor.
I remove the top and drop the poor little defenseless mammal in. I sit and await the carnage. The primeval battle of “hunter” versus “hunted,” which plays itself out thousands of time each day, is now unfolding before my very eyes.
At first, the prey stands very still, sensing something’s not right. The hunter, waiting, partially hidden beneath the slate, his forked tongue dancing left to right tasting the air. Then movement. Slow and cautious to begin with, turning to fast-paced whimsy as the mouse frolics around the aquarium.
He danced around the snake, over the snake, on the snake and in what I saw as the ultimate act of defiance, he bit the snake.
Needless to say I removed the mouse and a day or two later the deadly boa constrictor morphed into the dead boa constrictor.
I wonder why they literally go belly up? It’s probably a sign to remind people (such as myself at the time) who feel they have nothing better to do with their money than to purchase silly items, start a savings account.
When all was said and done at least the mouse had a nice place to live.