Monday, 25 October 2010

links, past to present.


There is a stuffed crocodile on our bedroom chest of drawers. It is a treasured family item.
When I was about ten my main obsession, apart from sherbert dip-dabs was the pet shop in Highgate, or Finchley I can't remember now. A dark cavern of mystery and wonder, they sold (probably very unlawfully) pythons, birds of prey, immense hairy spiders and ....crocodiles. Most of my quota of childhood nag time must have been spent trying to get my poor mother to agree to housing such a reptile. Me, the child, free of such worries as gas bills, car repairs etc could of course not see why having a three foot long tooth laden creature would be any sort of a problem, and continued ad infinitum to put forward all the advantages..
On my birthday, instead of a tank, bulbs, small rodents, and reptile, I found a large newspaper bundle at the bottom of the bed. It was a small adult crocodile with horse hairs insides, marble eyes, and mouth open in a time preserved bite at some unfortunate small creature.
It was love at first site, the decoy worked, and he went everywhere with me. On the bus, on holiday, into Foyles bookshop, no-one ever asked why I was carrying a stuffed reptile, and I no longer hankered after a life one. 10 out of 10 mum for ingenuity .
There then followed a series of acceptable childhood pets, budgies, various poo producing furry creatures, and even a cat, although we we not really supposed to keep them in the flats.
We moved to Dorset when I was thirteen, and fairly soon after Pink Floyd, Rush and David Bowie took over on the list of obsessions, not to mention Peter whatever his name was.
Fast forward to the present.
Our boy seems to be firmly in my footprints. We've done the nibbling things, including ratty rat, a violent animal who ate his way through our kitchen wall, and was 'given his freedom', Timothy, a very endearing mouse who lived for three years, whom I suspect was a reincarnation of Dickens, Guiness and Rocky, two other mice, a whole troop of budgies, lead by Betty, a big mama blues singer bird, who had quite a lot of offspring, sad swallows with broken wings, snails, butterflies, and fish.
Tropical fish for Christmas last year, I thought it would all be horribly complicated and boredom would set in, but he has been really diligent, feeding cleaning, etc etc......and now he wants a reptile.
His childhood is very different to mine, no trip down to the library to look in plastic covered old books about 'how to enjoy your reptile' 'fairly' unlimited access to youtube and obsessive's websites concerning every aspect of lizard ownership
We seem to be considering the prospect. Well he's pretty cheap to run, Ezra, happy to wear hand-me-downs, no longer a fussy eater, has no expensive sport habit.
Due to the fact that the above featured creature, an iguana, is vegetarian, we thought that one might fit in to our lives. Have listened to the arguments, visited a reptile park, have a lovely voisin who is happy to work on a cage making project with Ezra.
Fate has stepped in.
We were about to buy an iguana from a man in Carcassonne, who is moving countries, he rang on the day of igunana inspection to say it had died....Ezra became strangely silent on the subject.
Boy and husband are in Paris for a few days. Mark rang last night to say they had been to reptile specialist shop, and the man had pointed to a two and a half meter iguana and said, 'you don't want one of those' Can grow to three meters, can become aggressive, can live up to fifty years, (oooek) and eventually need a whole room rather than a cage. There goes the B&B room.......
So back to the drawing board with...a bearded dragon apparently, unless he suddenly finds Lucy in class more alluring...

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