Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A clarification

It has come to my attention* that I may have given you the impression that I hate animals. This is a falsehood. True, I spent a good ten minutes yesterday trying to assure that a mother raccoon laid her baby nest anywhere but in the insulation above my son's bed. True, I may have tried to accomplish this by banging on pots and pans every time I saw her until she retreated out of sight for the day.

But people, I love animals.

For example, I love snakes. It's true. I had a garter snake named Snakey in my classroom** and I spoiled that baby so rotten with live fish that he wouldn't take crickets and other things garter snakes love in the wild.

Wait, did that sound like I hate fish? I love fish. I used to want to BE a fish. Every time I went in the ocean from ages 3 to 15 now, I walked very slowly and deliberately in and then dove under because I had a secret hidden hope that I was really a mermaid and that THIS TIME, upon contact with my natural habitat, I would sprout fins and swim away. After hearing Michael Reisman talk about how much he loves his fish, I consulted him extensively and bought Tink her own goldfish and who do you think feeds Filly nightly and cleans/refills his tank weekly monthly biannually???

Here is a list of other animals I had as pets in my classroom at one time or another:
a Mexican red-kneed tarantula
baby opossums
a bearded dragon
leopard frogs
painted lady butterflies
an African pygmy hedgehog***

Oh, Hedgie. I loved Hedgie so much that when Hedgie got sick, I brought him home and tried to nurse him back to health on a diet of freshly steamed carrots and boiled chicken until Thor told me Hedgie was not welcome on the kitchen counter any more.

So there. See? I am an animal lover and anyone who thinks otherwise is -- What's that? Okay, I can see where this might mislead you into thinking I hate squirrels.



Yeah. I can't deny it. I do hate squirrels. Little squeaking flightless pigeons.

Edited to add: As I am reading the comments this afternoon, something is crawling around above me in a part of my house that HAS NO ATTIC. Whatever it is is scratching and biting and must be in my roof somehow and, yes, I admit, I hate it too, even if it is not a squirrel. Not to worry, my boyfriend from Animal Control is coming soon.

* Darn you, real life peanut gallery!
** To be more specific, I had Snakeys # 1 through 3.
*** yes, I know it's not legal to own hedgehogs in some states. Illinois isn't one of those states. All of these animals, in fact, were checked, etc., and okay to have. And they were very well cared for by grown-ups, not second graders.


Colorado Writer said...

tarantula's have knees?
dragons have beards?

I have learned two new things today.

No, 3.

The Easy Bake Oven will smoke if you forget to take out the cake in time.

Brenda said...

Throwing the pots at the mother raccoon...then I would have thought you didn't much care for her, but just doing a little banging jig is like a friendly call in some countries...I'm sure of it...grin...

Jacqui said...

CW, oops! How was the cake?

Brenda, "a banging jig" describes it perfectly. A crazed madwoman banging jig. Sigh.

J. Thorp said...

Quite the menagerie, Coach -- I'm suitably impressed!

In my childhood and teen years, I was a boy of many animals. These are the ones I had in my care for multiple days:

- the 'possum
- a raccoon
- pigeons
- pheasants
- cats
- dogs
- a star-mosed mole
- rabbits
- a mule
- horses
- frogs (leopard, bull, wood, and tree varieties)
- toads
- turtles (painted, snapping, and Blandings varieties)
- a brown anole lizard
- a common curly-tailed lizard
- a green iguana
- assorted fish
- an African clawed frog
- salamanders
- and a horsehair worm

That last one was seriously creepy. My dad scooped it up while scuba diving. it lived in our aquarium for weeks, probing blindly for someone to infest. Ew.

Jacqui said...

Thorp, somehow I knew it. And "probing blindly for someone to infest" is clearly the best line of the day.

Paul Michael Murphy said...

You do hate birds though, right? I mean, what is there to like about birds?

C.R. Evers said...

I love animals too, but I know what you mean. I love them best when they are in their proper place! Like- raccoons and their babies are meant to live outside, not in an attic tearing apart your rafters and keeping the family awake at night.


Mary Witzl said...

I love hedgehogs, opossums, and raccoons! Not sure I'd want any of them making a nest in my house, though: they don't potty train their babies, do they? And I'm not looking for anything else to clean up.

Sharon Blankenship said...

Let me put in a good word for raccoons. I have raised at least 3, bottle fed them and the whole deal. They are clever, smart creatures. I also have raised a pair of bluejays (The Blues Brothers), a fox (on a bottle) horses, a sheep, and a goat.
They don't call me Mother Nature for nothing.
P.S. I help a friend who is a licensed wildlife rehabilitation specialist. All have been successfully returned to the wild.

Jacqui said...

Paul: of course. Are birds even animals? Except mourning doves, whose call I love.

Christy and Mary: exactly!

Sharon, perhaps you should bring your friend to my house...

Candace Ryan said...

I love animals, too. They all taste good. ;)