well unless it’s little african dwarf frogs, pot bellied pigs, iguanas… i even thought a little goat would make the best “one day” family pet.
i can appreciate the beauty of a horse or marvel at the human-ness of a monkey but as for walking and petting something i choose not to participate. this goal of non-participation doesn’t bode too well in a family caring for a dog, a snake, a rat, several fish and an aviary (ie. finches, mockingbirds, lovebirds, parakeets, cockatiels, sparrows…). right now only the birds and the dog remain, but in my opinion that is still one animal too many.
amphibians tend to be another story. i love african dwarf frogs. they are so cute when they swim. my first set was purchased in college and i named them ophelia and hamlet. they did not survive christmas break when i carelessly failed to make feeding arrangements for the two. ironically, they met a tragic end. the next duo was bought in crystal city, virginia. it was at the height of the search for weapons of mass destruction led by hans blix while george bush and tony blair filled the headlines. blix and blair lived a happy life in my apartment, until the unfortunate day i cleaned their tank. eagerly i placed blix and blair back in the bowl. my roommate ashlee and i watched as they swam rapidly pinging from the top of the water straight back down to the rocks. before we knew what was happening their strokes slowed until they lethargically floated to a stop. another set of frog blood was on my hands. this time, soapy water had been the culprit. hopefully there are little “luda” and “snoop” frogs in my future…
there was also a pet iguana named pele that linda marie and i shared. i’d come home from school and take him out of his cage. he’d sit on my shoulder as i read. my brother leiland even sent me his iguana edition of reptile magazine outlining exactly what iguanas should eat. poor pele actually starved to death. but it wasn’t for lack of food, rather the portions were too large for him to consume.
here ends my personal pet history.
my sisters on the other hand love any and all animals. asia in particular is extremely sensitive when it comes to little critters. three years ago as she lay in a hospital bed i sent her a copy of a brand new documentary called winged migration. thinking it was exactly what she needed i was shocked to receive a phone call with her sobbing on the other end. i could barely make out, “why…. would… you send me this movie!?” her anguished breaths not allowing her to speak for a moment. then, “the crabs killed the little bird and the cameraman didn’t do anything?!?!?” needless to say, the movie did not achieve the desired affect.
today as i tried to organize a portion of my family’s house i came across a rat. it was a roof rat, which unfortunately has become commonplace in this area. i screamed. rachel screamed without knowing why she was screaming. we both screamed. we jumped up and down and then mom came to the rescue. she trapped the rat and was about to kill it, but asia stood as an advocate for the rodent. through clenched teeth she took her stand. the rat should not be killed. she stormed off calling my mom a murderer. i was grateful that the disgusting thing wouldn’t crawl on me again. but still, seeing it’s little lifeless, beady eyes did make me feel at least a teeny bit bad. and then i got over it, because i am not an animal person!
happy graduation asia! may you find a way to love for and rescue many a lost animal! i love you.