Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Accidental Purchase

I was off running errands yesterday, when I *accidentally* pulled into a Petco that I'd not visited recently. The last time I was in this particular Petco, I'd noticed a lovely tank full of fire bellied toads, and saw that some of them were different colours than Poison, our class pet. When I'd commented on the lovely toads to the person who worked there, she had said "oh! You should see how excited they get when we put mealworms in the tank!", which boggled my mind, as I'd read that mealworms were dangerous dainties to feed to the toads. Something about their hard scaly body segments scraping up a toad's delicate digestive tract. But good golly, what an incredible savings, if I could buy mealworms at $2 for 100 worms, instead of crickets at ten cents each (and those crickets have a pretty high mortality rate. I'm losing close to a quarter of them before they even make it into the toad tank... then you factor in the number of completely DUMB crickets that jump into the water and drown before they can be eaten, and you're looking at pretty pricey dinners for Poison.)

So, I spent a few minutes watching the toads at this Petco, and I noticed a cool bright green one that had ONLY ONE EYE! He was the coolest toad, EVER. And it wasn't an injury. He looked like he'd been born that way. There was just this smooth green skin where a bulging eye should have been popping up on the top of his head.

Oh, but what's that? Look behind Cyclops, and there's this super cool looking nearly-solid-black toad.

I did the math in my head. If I could feed the toads mealworms instead of crickets? I could EASILY afford to add another toad to Poison's tank. And besides, everything I've been reading about these little creatures said that they do better in a social environment. They LIKE to be around other members of their own kind.

AND! If I got a second toad, I'd have pretty much a 50-50 chance that I got one of each sex, and then there was a POSSIBILITY that they might mate and lay eggs!

How cool is that?

Ok, maybe it's just cool in my own mind, but I managed to convince myself that I could afford to get another toad for Nate's class tank. And besides, Poison had cost nearly $7, and toads at Petco were only $5.50. It was a BARGAIN!

When I mentioned to the gal that was getting the big black toad out of the slimy pile of toads in the back of the tank that I was thrilled to have been told that I could feed mealworms to the toads occasionally instead of a steady diet of crickets, her eyes nearly bugged out of her head.

"WHO told you that?" she said.

"Um... I was in here the other day, and I asked what size crickets you fed the toads, and the woman I talked to said that they do small crickets, but that every other day, they feed mealworms. I guess I just wanted to know what size of mealworms to supplement the cricket diet with. Actually, I was quite surprised to hear that, because I'd always thought that mealworms were not good toad food."

She nodded, "You're right. I feed the toads every day, and I will tell you that I *ONLY* feed them crickets. Whoever told you that about mealworms was VERY mistaken."

Uh oh.

"Well, I'm glad I got the correct information, then." I said. "I guess I'll be going back to the expensive food, then. Could you get me a bag with 10 small crickets in it, then? To go along with this toad that I'm bringing to class?"

She went into the back room to get the crickets while I filled out the "New Pet Adoption Forms". Hilarious, all the rigamarole that one goes through in order to bring home a five dollar toad. It's the same form that you use for the $1500 parrots.

She came out with a bag full of crickets. On the side it said "10 Small". But when I looked in there? There had to be two dozen tiny crickets in the bag. I guess she felt sorry for me.

I just finished printing up 'portraits' for the class.

Here's the first one:

And here's Poison's new friend:

Almost all the scary black color is gone from his back, and he's turning into a nice green. I think the only way we'll be able to tell the two toads apart is from their size. The new one is a bit bigger... for now. I wouldn't be surprised if we could tell them apart from the pattern of black warts on their backs, too.

Seeing as Nate and his buddy Q got to name Poison, I thought I would make a pre-emptive strike and name this new toad before I brought it into the class. So...

Here is his/her glamor shot:

Sing it with me, people...


You don't have to show your red bell-eeee.

Petstore crowds are over

You don't have to share your crickets in the night...


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