1. Ribcracker

    Ribcracker Member

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    Rubber Lizard

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Ribcracker, Jan 25, 2014.

    Shortly before Christmas, my wife (Chris) and I went to the Always Christmas store over in Canterbury Village to buy a "baby's first Christmas" ornament for our young grandson. This place is huge! They even have an area dedicated to Halloween with creepy ornaments like skulls, spiders and such. On the floor under one of the displays was a rubber lizard so I picked it up to return it to the shelf. I couldn't believe how real it looked and felt - soft and gooshy - so I had a closer look. Yep, it's alive - a handsome 6 or 7 inch spotted salamander.

    Salamanders can't regulate their body temperatures internally and are quickly killed by extreme cold or dryness so putting him out in the snow wasn't an option. They normally over-winter by remaining buried in the soil or beneath logs and leaf litter but it was obviously too late for that. I rummaged in a trash bin and found a coffee cup with a lid, put him in there and added a small amount of water from a drinking fountain since his skin seemed dry.

    We thought we'd take him to a nature center up in Dryden (about ten miles) since they have terrariums. But then we remembered an elementary school nearby that had a small nature center so we took a chance and tried the door. Open! The naturalist seemed glad to see us. We showed her our find and she looked dismayed as she said, "Let's see how cold he is." She held her finger to his skin and said, "He's okay!" with a big grin. Turns out they had recently "lost" a salamander and were glad to have a replacement.

    We felt pretty good on the way home. Yeah, it's only a salamander - millions are born so that a few might survive. He may be insignificant but finding him a home was significant to us and probably to him, too. It made me think of this old quote:

    Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar. -Bradley Miller
     
    minstrel, 123456789, matwoolf and 2 others like this.
  2. A.M.P.

    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Contributor

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    Aw, warm fuzzy feelings in the inside ^.^
     
  3. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yeah, me too!
     
  4. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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  5. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Nice story, Ribcracker! Thanks.
     

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