Wednesday, October 13, 2010

tight squeeze

I’ve become obsessed (me? Never!) with our classroom terrarium. Little Salazar Sytherin, the Salamander, holds my fascination for what seems like hours, even though he often just sits there, blinking. Maybe an occasional yawn or burp. He’s not feeling to well the past day or so—I think I’ve let the kids hold him too much, so he is on bed rest at the moment. We had two Fire Belly Toads move into our little world a week ago: Narcissa Malfoy (green) and Bellatrix Lestrange (brown). I’ve never really understood why people like frogs or toads, they’ve always just kind of seemed like little blobs to me. However, Narcissa and Bellatrix could not be more different, they have such funny little personalities. Narcissa is a little bit bigger and like an Amazon warrior, she is constantly hunting, capturing the larger crickets that are meant for Salazar. She will catch one by the toe and use her little hands to maneuver the insect until she has it where she wants it. Bellatrix, while harder to catch, often sits and waits for the food to come to her and is very particular about which cricket she wants. Many will crawl all over her, she simply waits until the one that meets her fancy decides to attend the party. The kids are crazy about our menagerie, but nearly as kookoo as their teacher.
Several kids, throughout the school, bring us grasshoppers on a regular basis. Salazar isn’t that interested in them, so they often sit there and die or jump out into the classroom. Fun. Yesterday this little girl came in, stylish little thing. She announced that she had a grasshopper. She had no bag or thermos or any other container that the other kids use. With raised eyebrow, I inquire as to its location. She points to her back pocket of her skin tight jeans. The embroidered pocket with a zipper at the top. Gaping at her, I laughed, then realized she was serious. I told her to take it out of pocket, seeing squished bug parts and an angry call from mom. She unzips her pocket. She struggles to get her fingers inside (that how tight these jeans are). After a bit, she pulls a leg from her pocket, as I watch cringing, taking on about what a horrible death butt crunching would be. As she pulls, the little leg emerges. Attached to the leg comes a grasshopper body. None the worse for wear. I about fell over. He didn’t jump, just sat in her hand, probably as shocked to be in one piece as I was. He now resides with our toads, salamander, and crickets. Out of the frying pan and into the fryer.
When God designed grasshopper bodies, he did something right. Something ugly, but something right.

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