My son Frank has set up a terrarium down there – the house came with a giant fish tank built into the wall in the finished basement and over the years that we have lived here it has housed some different animals – mostly fish. The quintessential trait required of fish living downstairs was their ability to go long stretches of time being completely ignored and in the dark.
This past year or so Frank has become interested in reptiles. I too have kept dormant an inclination and affection for the scaly little monsters so I am aiding and abetting in this foray into herpetological housing. So we’ve got a hundred and fifty gallon aquarium with four anoles six tree frogs and Bob the snake merrily cavorting about in their climate controlled kingdom.
Bob is the only resident down there with a name; he was christened by our grandson Scotty. I asked Scotty what we should name the small green snake and he replied without hesitation and no small amount of incredulity – “Bob”. The rest of the crew is anonymous.
Bob is an escape artist. He slithers through the tiniest crack and gaps in the terrarium’s lid. He doesn’t go anywhere once he’s escaped. He just curls up into a coil and hangs out on top of the tank on the bare wood lid instead of basking in the full spectrum fluorescent light inside of his live plant filled enclosure.
This must be a metaphor for something don’t you think? No matter how comfortable a cage is one still seeks to escape? Of course this is anthromorphizing our buddy Bob, bestowing some sort of thought process beyond electric firings of a primordial brain stem sputtering like the weak sparks emitted from a butane spent Bic lighter.
Or maybe the fact that Bob just stays on top of that cage – not venturing any further once he gets out - maybe that is the real metaphor. Either way – I’ve sealed up those cracks and Bob hasn’t pulled his Houdini stunt in a couple days.