Monday, June 30, 2008

And the Devil Laughed (Summer 2008)

I have always had affinity for and attraction to--an obsession, really--little animals. Ever since I was a small child, I've chased them around and caught them and wanted to keep them as pets. My mother still swears I should've been a veterinarian (instead of a bum, which is what I am), and my fascination with wildlife, especially frogs, continues to this day.

I have a small menagerie that I feed and take care of, which I think I've mentioned before. Well, it was a very sunny day today outside, so I took my cold-blooded pets outside to let them enjoy the warmth of nature.

But warmth was probably an understatement. The searing heat of the day, is more accurate, and when I went to retrieve my container of beasties, I found they had baked in the sun, even though there was water in with them.

My salamander, which I caught in 2006, my frog which I caught in 2007, my toad (bought from a store last year), and one of my turtles were all casualties of the day.

I've had pets die on me many, many (many, many) times, so it shouldn't have come as such a shock, but it did. You don't know gross until you've seen a firebelly toad roasted to nearly black, or a salamander swollen up to twice its size.I am reminded of poor Michael Palin's character in A FISH CALLED WANDA, who so loves animals, and yet inadvertently causes their deaths throughout the film. It's funny in the film, but slightly less so when it keeps happening to animals in my care.

I will not be surprised if all my dead pets are in Hell right now, waiting for me to arrive.

What will be waiting for you?

Rish "Froglover" Outfield

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