Critters in the House
Boys’ (and girls too!)
Critters: They Slither, Crawl, and Fly
Critters. They can scare you out of your wits, give you the heebie jeebies and keep you awake at night. Whether they slither, crawl, or fly, most parents (and sisters!) get creeped out by bugs, snakes, and anything of the creepy crawly kind.
Snakes and snails and puppy dog tails,
that’s what little boys are made of. Mine sure was. My country kid spent a lot of time outdoors and his vision quests often centered around “critter catching.”
Critters in the House
I was never too bothered by indoor critters as long as they were humanely treated and not running amuck unsupervised. Ten gallons of salamanders in the bath tub and baby toads in trouser pockets headed for the wash was not condoned and generally ignited a stern discussion on cleanliness (salamanders carry salmonella) and the merciful treatment of God’s creatures.
What if snakes, insects and spiders freak you out and your kids insist on bringing them into the house? Do you announce a moratorium on critters? Good luck on that one.
If you’re the squeamish type, I suggest you and your child visit the library. Check out age appropriate “critter books” they like and read them together. This experience can help you bond as a family and open your eyes and heart to a world you never knew existed.
I was fortunate to have had an older sister that taught Hard Core Critter 101. I watched as she took black widow spiders for walks- pulled by thread carefully tied around their abdomen. She once raised a nest of hornets.
That one ended badly after she was stung. She taught me to safely catch honey bees by gently cupping my hands around them as they gathered clover nectar.
You could say I was pretty desensitized to creepy crawlers.
If you live in an area with poisonous critters, it’s a good idea to know what kind of wildlife you’re dealing with. Rattlesnakes, scorpions and the like, are nothing to fiddle with. Everyone in the family needs to be informed. When you’re informed, fear of the unknown becomes “common sense,” and may even prevent a disaster.
You may not kiss a toad or wrap a snake around your neck, but getting to know God’s creatures can help you admire the natural world through the eyes of your child.
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