Stumpy finished the last of his crickets, so I made the trek to Kingdom of Pets (or Pet Kingdom, I forget the exact name) to load up on more, and to see the strange creatures roaming the aisles – chickens and such, not people.
Well, Kingdom of Pets/Pet Kingdom did not have any free range pets this time. They had quite a few turtles in “pens” and lots of fish. No bunnies, a few skittish Guinea pigs, and lots and lots of SNAKES. Yes, SNAKES. Fortunately they were all in habitats.
The other strange and exotic thing they had was a large stand-up incubator of sorts, about the size of a small refrigerator. Inside were many containers of eggs, along with a sign that read “Absolutely not for sale.” Each container was labeled with a name and date, like “Conner 10/15/2013” or “Zach 09/28/2013.” Some containers had additional info, like “corn snake” or “water turtle.” So I guess the eggs were various reptile or other eggs waiting to be hatched. Maybe Kingdom of Pets/Pet Kingdom rents out incubator space or serves as a egg-sitting place for people on vacation. I suppose it is a good thing, but what happens if corn snake eggs hatch at the same time that, say, bird eggs hatch? Wouldn’t the hungry corn snake babies eat the helpless bird babies? The thought of everything that could go wrong made my head spin.
I was excited to see that Kingdom of Pets/Pet Kingdom now sells chicken coops, small ones for urban farmers. I really, really want backyard chickens, but we don’t have quite enough distance between neighbors to legally keep chickens.
After looking at everything, I finally made my way to the back LIVE FOOD counter and asked for 40 large crickets. The kid at the counter said he didn’t have 40 large crickets, but that he could give me 20 mediums and 20 large ones. That was fine by me because large crickets are scary big, so he opened up the cricket bin and scooped up a load of medium crickets into a plastic bag, then scooped up a load of large crickets into another plastic bag. I could immediately see that he gave me waaaay more than 40 crickets all together, but he said it was 40 and handed me the two writhing cricket bags. As I was leaving, I happened to notice a sign to employees by the cricket bins that read: “Count crickets! Yes, really!”
At home, I put the crickets into their cricket house on the front porch, and got them some grape leaves, lettuce and Thai basil from the garden. I checked on them after an hour or so, just to see how they were getting on, and discovered that the outdoor lizards had surrounded the cricket house while the crickets, oblivious to their impending doom, chirped merrily away. Oh the horror, the horror…