A Strange Tale (or Tail)

A picture of some really adorable, fuzzy piglets prompted a discussion about childhood pets in the office this morning. While a copy editor and the special publications manager talked about the pigs and sheep their families raised, I thought about the otters, badger, birds, ferrets, snakes, turtles and lizards that my dad kept as pets when I was a kid.

I didn’t share any stories in this office conversation. Somehow, I figured the tales of returning home from a vacation to find loose snakes on the living room floor weren’t as cute as the ones about piglets nipping at ankles and playing in straw.

My siblings and I loved having so many unusual animals. My sister and I would take off on bike rides from our country home, and return with redbelly snakes filling the pockets of our little pink jeans. Mom was thrilled…

I’d like to think that unique aspect of my family helped shape the person I have become. Maybe fearlessness in the face of reptiles as a child translates into confidence and boldness in confronting problems as an adult. And maybe it just means I’ll never be afraid of snakes. Dad, maybe you should have had more interest in spiders, too… Yuck

So I’ll take your story about playful little lambs frolicking in the pasture, and I’ll raise you a tale of an escaped glass lizard in the basement.

Step aside, baby farm animals. Your cuteness will meet its match.


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