Monday, July 26, 2010

Bob the Bearded Dragon

Vaughn and Sten pooled their money and are now "co-parenting" a two-year old bearded dragon we got off Craigslist. I use the term "co-parenting" loosely because, while I don't know how things go down at Sten's house, 'round these parts I still do all cleaning, feeding and paying for all of the expenses that came after the initial $50 purchase.I'm used to this role and I don't mind except for the crickets. That's right- Bob's diet is half crickets. Crickets that have to be rolled in two kinds of vitamin powder prior to feeding. Because he is an adult, Bob gets big crickets that crunch when he eats them. I'll admit that I do find it strangely satisfying to watch him dart around in his tank and dispatch them with exoskeleton grinding efficiency.

What I really don't like is the frequent trips to the pet store to get the crickets and the fact that half of them form a sad, dead layer of deceased cricket carpet on the bottom of their holding cell.

Yesterday Michael brought Bob over to our house to begin his two week stay that is part of the joint custody agreement and I greeted him with a cricket wrangling task. I had dumped all the crickets from the morning's purchase into a very large cardboard box because they were steaming up the plastic transfer bag and I wanted them to be comfortable (or at least not die immediately). The box was out on the porch and taped securely because when I had just closed the top and put a book on it I looked over to see escape crickets making for all four corners of my living room. Now I had to get all 48 crickets from the giant box into the small plastic cricket container.

We cut a small hole in the corner of the box and I held the container while Michael shook the crickets down to the bottom. They rolled out and into the container like a slot machine payout in a reptilian version of Vegas. When the jackpot slowed we decided to open the box to see how we'd done. Just a few remaining crickets clung to the side until Michael lifted up the bottom flap to reveal a good 15 of the big suckers milling around. It is amazing how one cricket is manageable (I've even gotten to the point I am willing to handle them with my hands) but several crickets is skin crawling and we both dropped the box and backed up with little shrieks.

Overall I'd say he's a good pet though and I'm really enjoying him. Jacob doesn't understand why I find things like him laying flat on his rock cute but I do.

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