Does Amazon Ship Water Buffalos?
by Gina Valley
There are a lot of different answers I expect to hear when I ask one of my children “What do you still need to do to be ready for our trip?
“Just pack and shower and find the bag of hamster food.” Isn’t that all you needed to do in the first place?
“Do I have to bring underwear and socks?” No, but you’ll have to ride in a trash bag, strapped to the roof of the plane.
“I don’t see why I have to go. I’m missing the party of the year.” That’s another reason you have to come with us.
“I can’t find any of my left shoes.” How are your hopping skills?
“What trip?” The one we have been discussing in secret family meetings for the last 3 months, so we could keep it from you, just to mess you up.
These are but a few of the multitude of variations I’ve heard. In fact, I think the only answer I have never heard to the question “What do you still need to do to be ready for our trip?” is “Nothing. I’m all ready to go.” I haven’t even heard that when we are on the plane at 25000 feet halfway to our destination. We usually get home from a trip before we’re all ready to go.
But, of all the answers my pack has given me, I realized there was one other answer none of them had ever given me before. Until last night:
I said to Son#1, my eldest, most organized, best shot at being ready-to-go offspring, “What do you still need to do to be ready for our trip?”
Find my pet snake?
I opened my eyes wider than I thought was possible. “Find her? When did you lose her?” I asked in what was not a completely calm voice.
“Four days ago. She was there when I went to bed, but she was gone when I woke up,” Son#1 answered way too calmly. “I kind of forgot to lock her tank. But, just that one time. I always lock it.”
Son#1 had been asking for a pet snake for…I don’t know exactly how long… I think since he learned how to talk.
He is, in general, very responsible and careful with pets. His dog, Trixie passed away recently, and he gently cared for her through the end. He has a pet catfish that he got several years ago when it was 1 ½ inches long. It’s now nearly 2 ½ feet long, and eats fish that are 5 or 6 inches long for lunch. When I was a kid I couldn’t keep a fish alive long enough to get it home from the store.
So, he’s good with pets. Usually. Excluding this “left the tank unlocked just this one time” thing.
“Four days ago?” I asked, remembering all of the guests and pop-in holiday visitors we’d hosted over the past 4 days. I thought about what would have happened if the snake had shown up in the bathroom while my mother-in-law was in there…processing. It wouldn’t have been pretty. She’s from the Old Country. She’d have made us Snake Stew without batting an eye.
“When,” I asked, “were you planning to tell me this?”
“After I found her,” Son#1 answered. “That’s why I cleaned out my whole room yesterday.”
Great. Another myth shattered. First, I find out this Santa thing is a farce. Now the Tale of the Cleans His Room For No Reason Kid is debunked. What’s next? Is someone gonna tell me that chocolate doesn’t burn calories? Oh the humanity!
I stood there wondering where the snake was, and blaming my sister.
This reptile was just the latest in a string of critters she’s added to our family. I remember the ducklings she’d delivered one Easter, and the water turtle that showed up for a birthday. Of course, there was the time 2 baby hamsters traveled the skies in Son#2’s back pack on his return flight from visiting with her. I can hardly believe the TSA x-ray guy didn’t even say anything about them. She’d sent the snake home with Son#1 after our last visit.
How was I supposed to explain to our house sitter, who had already expressed less than great joy at the prospect of living in the same house as the snake for a week, that she might want to double check under the covers before climbing into the guest room bed each night? I shuddered at the thought that I should have been doing that the last 3 nights and didn’t know it.
Clearly, I’d need to mention a bonus first, then tell our house sitter about the free-range reptile. Hopefully, she’d still be willing to take the job. Otherwise, I hated to think what the odds were of coming up with a good house sitter at the last minute the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
So, I decided to handle this like the mature adult I am.
I’ll get out our Maglite and start searching the house.
And, I’m shipping a pregnant water buffalo to my sister.
Laugh Out Loud!
Had any pet trouble? How did you handle it? How do you feel about snakes? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.