11 March 2019

[Bess Tuggle] - Memoirs of Surviving Children: Critters!

Critters have ruled my life for as long as I can remember.  I would say my adult life, but that wouldn’t be fair.  It goes back farther than that, and I’m no spring chicken.

I remember a pet frog.  Can’t say I remember his name, but he was my pet.  I made him a leash and harness (yes, a leash for a frog) and took him –everywhere-, including day-camp in the summer.  My frog saw the pond at day camp and decided to head for higher waters.  He escaped the leash.  I dove in the pond after him, but alas, he preferred the wild.  I, on the other hand, got in trouble for riding my bike back home, soaking wet, smelling like pond water.

Frogs were kind of a thing with me for a while.  If I saw them I had to catch them.  McDonalds had a –really- cool Happy Meal toy that looked like a watch, but you could store stuff in them.  Yep, frogs went in there.  They also went in my pockets.  I know my mother has a strong heart.  I heard her every time she pulled laundry out of the washer, and I forgot to take the frogs out of my pockets.  

We’ve had dogs, we’ve had cats, mice, rabbits, snakes, birds…

My boys’ decided to take down a bird nest once, and they put it in the bathtub.  I’m not sure if their intentions were to take care of the birds or get out of bath time, but there the chicks were.  For anyone that doesn’t know, some baby birds can eat their weight in worms – daily.  It kept the boys’ busy for a summer.  I don’t want to mention the shape it left my bathtub in.  Yuck!

Our current fur-baby is spoiled rotten.  He gets a Milk Bone with Reddi Whip on it every day.  Every single day.  He’ll pout until he gets it, too.  

Critters have just always been normal part of life.

The nuts haven’t fallen far from the tree.  

Supper was a ritual at my home.  Butt’s in the seat at 5:30 p.m.  If you snooze, you lose.  

Thing 4 developed an affinity for bugs.  He wasn’t picky.  As long as the bug couldn’t fly away, he was happy and I was too – I didn’t have to track it down and squish it.  As we sat down to supper, I asked Thing 4 to take the bug out that was crawling up and down his arm.

The answer was “But, Mama – that’s my ‘fwend’!”  Sometimes you just can’t win for losing, and sometimes losing is winning.  

- Bess Tuggle