“Daddy, did you get Jimminy a Christmas present yet?”, asked my 10 year old daughter, my angel and the light of my life. Now as Jimminy is a lizard (a bearded dragon to be exact) he was not exactly on the top of my Christmas list.
“No, honey,” I replied, “I haven’t.”
“Oh good, because he could really use some worms.”
This had to be the most unusual Christmas present request I’ve ever had. Now Ariana has this way of looking at me with her big blue liquid eyes that melts my heart and generally gets her most of her requests granted, though I endeavor not to spoil her.
“You have to be careful, though, Daddy. They hatch into beetles and crawl all over the place if you leave them for too long.”
Well, that settled it. A gift certificate to Jungle Pets it was going to be.
I only tell you all this to explain why I was out on Christmas eve looking for worm gift certificates. I arrived at Jungle Pet’s in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia where one can pick up such exotic creatures as parrots, macaws, monkeys, myriads of fish and a huge assortment of various sized and shaped lizards, frogs, fish and other animalia.
The young lady who served me explained that there were a great variety of worms available from the garden variety meal worm to huge aqua blue, spotted, striped and horned suckers who looked like they’d put up a respectable fight. I decided to take one of those and also plunked down fifty dollars for a certificate. The aqua horned suckers were $1.89 apiece but they threw in one for free so that Jimminy would have a treat that very Christmas eve.
Arriving home, I completed the Christmas card and gift certificate in its owner’s full name “Jimminy B. Cricket” (apologies to Disney; he was named not for his resemblance to a cricket but rather to his culinary predilection for the aforementioned insect).
I showed Jimminy his card and gift certificate, then placed him next to his bright aqua blue Christmas treat. Jimminy had had a big breakfast but eyed the worm (about a quarter of his length in fact) with interest. He contemplated the wiggly treat for some time, then with a lightening-like dart of the tongue he munched down the larval bug, with evident relish.
Unfortunately his eyes were bigger than his belly and the last quarter of his Christmas present remained languidly waving its tail while Jimminy tried in vain to finish it off. Finally he gave up and the worm found its way back to the light, albeit somewhat the worse for the wear.
Jimminy went back to a corner of his terrarium and started munching on some greens. I think he may have turned vegan. The problem now is what do we do with a fifty dollar gift certificate for worms for a vegetarian lizard.
“We could always put it towards another lizard,” opined Ariana, “or maybe a horse!”
All Images By George Burden – All Rights Reserved