Wednesday, May 12, 2004
Who’s the Leader of the Club?
Rusty’s teenage daughter, Sarah, lives with us, and along with her, we’ve got her albino corn snake, Dragon. Every three weeks or so, we get Dragon three white mice for food. Every couple months, Dragon sheds his skin, and during the days leading up to that, he is lethargic and moody and doesn’t want to eat, and his eyes cloud up.
Needless to say, sometimes “food” and “won’t eat” overlap. Like this past week.
At first, we feared he was sick, because he didn’t eat the mice and wouldn’t even really pay attention to them. But we finally realized that he was getting ready to shed his skin. This left us with the question of what to do with the mice.
We could just let them starve to death, but I said this was even crueler than waiting for Dragon to eat them. We could smother them and put them out of their misery, but that would be wasteful, as we would just have to get more mice in a few days. The pet store wouldn’t take them back. Rusty was worried that if they didn’t get eaten soon, they would make babies, and then we would have dozens of the things. So we decided to leave them in Dragon’s tank, feed them, and wait. They got to dine on lettuce, cheese, and Basic 4 breakfast cereal (which they really liked).
In the meantime, my cat, Dumaka, sat on the edge of the dresser — or even on top of the cage — and watched the mice. You could just hear the gears turning in her little head: “Hey, if he won’t eat them, give them to me! I know what to do with them!”
Two days ago, Dragon buried himself under the wood chips, presumably to start to shed. And last night, he was out on top, with some shed remnants and clear eyes.
But he still wouldn’t eat the mice. In fact, Rusty and I watched as he slithered along the back edge of the tank and one of the mice climbed up on his back — even onto his head — and was carried along for the ride, like one of those people-mover conveyor belts at the airport. (It was kind of funny to see, actually.)
I decided that something had to be done. The best way to get a pot to boil, a train to arrive, or something else to happen is to do something else, something which will get interrupted by what you wanted to happen in the first place. So what we had to do was get attached to the mice, turn them into pets. Then they would surely die! And the first step in the process of making them pets — well, other than feeding them — was to give them names. So we did…
George, Dick, and Donald.
(You figure it out. No sense wasting good names on them if we wanted to get rid of them.)
This morning, Dragon was curled up at the top of the tree in his tank, no mice to be seen.
[Weblog title reference: From the theme song to The Mickey Mouse Club.]
Updated on January 27, 2011