A “Charming” romance for this weeks Masterpiece Monday
since it’s Valentines Week.
Artist: Mary Blair
Artist: Mary Blair
My son is currently on an adventure cruising the high seas. My only cruising experience has been watching cheesy episodes of The Love Boat back in the day. As it turns out though, I am having a little adventure of my own. Pet-sitter. Only it’s not a cute puppy or kitten that I’m tending. More like a menagerie. Two of them are cute and furry, nibbling on carrots and sweet peppers, Brownie and Lily, my grand-Guinea’s.(Pigs, that is.)
This is Brownie 💜 (Lily is bashful…)
It’s the rest of the pet family that is giving me the Addams Family creeps. First, there is a small snake named Blanka. A Brazilian Rainbow Boa. Don’t let the rainbow part fool ya. There’s no pot of gold at the end-just more snake! As if that wasn’t bad enough, He has a stepbrother. Yup, another snake-and this ones a big one.
A Ball Python named Royal. Supposedly shy. Or should I say sssshhhhhyyyy….Who cares if a snake is shy? It’s still a snake!!!
Snakes and me. 🐍 Me and snakes.
Remember Pee-wee Herman and the burning pet shop scene? Well, that pretty much sums it up. All Creatures Great and Small…Does God really expect you to save snakes in case of fire? (Hopefully not a test I will get…) I will say, I have had more than my share of snake experiences in my life, so there is no love lost between me and anything that slithers.
When I was a kid, we played Barbies outdoors every day in the summer. As kids often do, I would get lazy about picking up my toys. One morning as I headed out to play, I found my Barbie case had been left out over night in the damp grass. As I flipped the lid open, out slithered a black snake. It felt like he leaped out-he was airborne for a minute there. Or maybe I was. Oh well. Potato/potato. Needless to say, I never left a toy out ever again. Or played Barbies for that matter. A more clever child would’ve snagged an apple and played pretend Adam and Eve, complete with snaky action. Me-not so much. Sadly, those vintage Barbies would fetch a kings ransom now. But snakes…ewwww…Childhood sure can change on a dime.
The dude on the right is named Alan…Who needs Ken with a stud like Alan around?
Fast forward to my dads garden years later. My kiddos and I were helping grandpa pick some green beans and grandpa was wink-wink, nudge-nudge entertaining them by telling tall tales of his “pet snake” that lived in the garden, and how ferocious he could be. I drew the lucky straw and as I plunged my hands in harvesting green beans, I pulled out a handful of snake instead!
Well the moment I realized, I reflexively tossed that snake and we all watched as my old dad leapt the barbed wire (and electric!) fence in his Jed Clampett boots and hightailed it to the house, screaming like a banshee the whole time.
I was left, mouth hanging open, to grab two small children and the bucket ‘o beans and navigate us safely home. Pet snake indeed! Who knew grandpa’s garden snake had roughly the same circumference as a green bean? I still shudder at the memory every time I handle green beans. Yikes! Probably a descendant of the Barbie-snake years prior.
A few years back, my daughter and I used to walk along the Boise River trails. One day as we were enjoying Mother Nature, I did the high-step over a large stick. The sturdy stick suddenly slithered like a sidewinder and my drill team high-step turned into a jig as I freaked out.
Sadly there were other walkers out, but they were far enough behind that they witnessed me dancing around like a lunatic but never saw the snakes part. Awkward. (Me and exercise, never BFF’s.) Turns out the Boise River is a tributary of the Snake River. Well duh. Lesson learned.
So to tend snakes under any condition–greater love hath no mom! And I’m not just talking snakes here. There is a Pixie Frog that looks just like Jabba the Hut. Pixie is way too flattering a title for this particular frog. Woof! How they ever came up with that name for a frog that looks like this is beyond me:
Then there are three Pac-Man Frogs, which conjure up a cute picture reminiscent of a favorite video-game.
Chomp-chomp. Which is how they got their names. Froggys who can draw blood. Charming. Which makes you wonder how they ever came up with the fairytale. Kiss a Frog to find your Prince Charming? 💋 Not this girl.
Well truthfully, there are a couple of more attractive frogs, Pancho and Lefty. Colorful Tree Frogs. And not at all interested in biting me. That’s a plus-over snap, crackle, and pop baring their froggy teeth in the other cage.
If the frogs don’t kill ya, there’s a Leopard Gecko just for giggles. Frank. He comes right to the glass and gives me the side-eye every time I do pet duty.
Frank is smiling for his blog debut…
Funny thing is, these pets are all supposed to be nocturnal. As in-sleeping the day away. So that’s when I attempt to feed them. Well all I have to say is… nocturnal my fanny!
These pets are deliberately setting their clocks just to torment me. I have one frog that sits belligerently in the space left by his water bowl while I’m busy cleaning it. I tried to move him with my mind, but he wasn’t having it.
I tried a stare-down but no luck there either. (Maybe the threat of a menu of frogs legs…) No worries. I will survive. My daughter has been my faithful sidekick in this adventure. It takes two because of the fear factor. In case one of us passes out and hits the floor. That way, the other one can keep the pets alive till my son gets home. I’m already a few days in and it’s only a ten-day gig. Plus, my son will owe me big time! And I’ve got some crazy pets of my own, albeit two dogs and a cat aren’t as terrifying as lions, tigers and bears. I mean, snakes, frogs, and lizards.
Surely, if I can make it through this I can make it through anything. But if those snakes dare to even look my way with their hypnotic snaky eyes, not only am I going to be cruisin’…I’m going to be literally throwing a hissy-fit!