musings from Canadian author Cheryl Cooke Harrington ... home of The Write Spot

Friday, October 05, 2012

Here there be nightmares...

Over the years, I've played mom, best friend, and nursemaid to a variety of critters both barnyard (chickens, ducks, rabbits, pigs), and household (dogs, cats, fish, birds). I was even the designated alternate caregiver for a white rat named Dweezil (with apologies to Mr. Zappa). But I drew my line in the sand when Elder Son showed up one evening with his best friend in tow. They were carrying a glass-covered terrarium and wearing suspiciously nervous grins.

"We're sharing a pet," said Elder Son. "He's really cute and furry and I won the coin toss, so I get to keep him this week. His name is..."

Unfortunately, I can't remember the creature's name. Maybe I've blocked the memory as too traumatic or maybe I just shrieked so loudly I drowned out Elder Son's voice.  As he spoke, he had reached into the terrarium, picked up the cute and furry new pet and turned, extending his hand in my direction. A hand almost completely covered by the hairy legs and pulsating body of a gigantic brown tarantula.

Now, spiders are not my favourite creatures but I try to maintain a live and let live philosophy. That is to say, live and let live BUT NOT IN MY HOUSE!  Coin toss or not, friend Gil was awarded spider-keeper status and Elder Son had to content himself with visiting rights.

Fast forward twenty-something years and Elder Son is now a parent himself. His family menagerie currently includes 2 cats, a dog, a chinchilla, a bearded dragon, and a White's tree frog. (And in recent memory a hedgehog, numerous fish, gerbils, and a guinea pig). So I had a good laugh when I read his recent Facebook update about my grandson: "Ty has decided to lobby for a snake...not just a corn snake either, a PYTHON. Note to self: never allow him to enter a pet store again."

What goes around comes around, son.  I'm just sayin'.

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