Perpetual Plan B

Thursday, February 24, 2011


The girls won't allow me to talk about them too much online these days, but I think I am still allowed to talk about the past when what they did was usually still cute and funny and not "embarrassing". So, here goes:

One year at the Nibley City Heritage Days celebration our friend's son, Daniel, caught a little frog in the park. My girls were about 4 and 7 at the time. They begged him to give them the frog, which he did, and we happily took him (or her) home. Even I was pretty happy with the frog. We named her (or him) Lily.

Well, the next day I started worrying about what we should feed our new pet. I bought her a little plastic terrarium and we got her environment as close to the one she had come from as we possibly could. I then called the pet store to see what kind of "frog food" they had.

"You need crickets." the guy said.

"Crickets? You mean you sell dried cricket parts?"

"No, they will only eat LIVE crickets."

"Live crickets? You have got to be kidding me." I replied.

"Oh no. We get them in regularly. You just need to pick them up every week or so and they'll stay alive until your frog eats them all."

Well, being the responsible pet owner that I am, I drove on into the pet store for my first bag of crickets. I purchased about 15 or 20 of them and we headed for home with Ally holding the bag on her lap in the back seat. At that time we were juggling between 2-3 different vehicles for some reason and I remember EXACTLY which car we were in, my mother-in-law's old (to her - "fancy" to us) Buick that was a nice silvery blue color. As embarrassing as it was to be seen in the "old lady" car, it was a pretty smooth and comfy ride. Probably the most "luxury" car I've ever driven.

The image of what happened next is permanently embedded in my brain.

I was driving along happily, contemplating the "Mother of the Year" award I would receive someday when blood curdling screams from the back seat assaulted my ears. Since I was driving I didn't immediately turn around to see what the problem was. Pretty soon I didn't need to turn around, I saw them.

Lots of them.


Lots and lots of crickets, jumping ALL over the car. Ally was deathly afraid of bugs back then (she still screams like that whenever she sees a spider and I swear that girl can spot a baby spider from about a mile away) and she was terrified. Somehow the elastic or twist tie or whatever it was that was supposed to be holding the plastic bag shut had come off. And they were jumping. All. over. the. car.

I could barely drive, it was like we had our own little plague going on right there inside the car, it was wild! (And hard to concentrate on driving I might add. Good thing I wasn't more freaked out by the crickets themselves or I might have crashed or something.)

We managed to make it all the way home, about a 20 minute drive, and I hurried to catch as many crickets as I could - which was only about 4 or 5. We fed them to Lily that day and the next one and then I convinced the girls that we needed to turn Lily loose where Daniel had found her "because she missed her mommy". There was no way in heck I was going to to through that again. The crickets were pretty expensive too, around $5 if I remember right.

I was pretty sad to let her go, because Lily was a pretty fun pet while it (he, she?) lasted.

Back to the Buick, that car is the same vehicle that we took to Nebraska one year where we caught fireflies and THEY somehow got out and as we drove along at night you could see one light up in the car every once in a while. We did get a few of them home where we promptly released them. They hung around and lived for about a week. Hal swears that about exactly a year later he saw them again one night. Maybe some of the other neighbors happened to bring some back from somewhere else, who knows.

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