No one else has stirred yet. I’ve been in my element for some time now, those early morning hours when things are quiet, when whatever noise that is being made in the house is caused by me. I keep it on the low-down to avoid waking anyone. So far I have succeeded today.
After having had my quiet time with God, which consists of reading His Word and praying, I headed to the kitchen to refill my coffee cup. With plans of making chocolate gravy and homemade biscuits for the kids later, I decided that my swollen belly should go ahead and get a refill now, so I set in to making myself a breakfast burrito.
I suppose you might be able to purchase a breakfast burrito similar to the ones I make, but who wants to part with that much mullah when you can do it at home for next to nothing. So I pulled the bacon out of the freezer and nibbled off several bite sized pieces with the kitchen scissors, landing them in the skillet that was already warming. Next, I sprinkled some green pepper tidbits from the stash we keep in the freezer and added them to the bacon as it thawed. Bacon grease began to develop in the bottom of the pan, drenching the pepper chunks as I retrieved a couple of eggs, some shredded cheddar, and a large burrito shell.
Now that I had gathered all the remaining ingredients, the bacon/pepper combo seemed to be coming along nicely, so I drained “most” of the grease and added the two eggs to the mix, scrambling them swiftly as they were seared by the hot pan. The eggs firmed up rather quickly and I added a handful of cheddar, stirred it in, and threw the burrito shell on top of the mixture to gather the steam that was rising from the skillet. After about a half a minute I removed the shell, dumped the contents of the skillet into it, and rolled it up tightly. Voila, breakfast was served.
As the aroma of my hot breakfast wafted through the house, I was concerned that little noses would be awakened soon, so with burrito in one hand and coffee in the other, I snuck out onto the front porch. As I exited the premises I was met by a plethora of granddaddy longlegs which had gathered around the door frame, apparently waiting to enter. I quickly passed through the barrage of attackers, brushing one off of my leg, and made my way down to the porch swing to consume my vittles and java.
Enjoying the cool of the morning on the swing, I inhaled my rolled-up hog grease and hen-egg sensation, washing it down with coffee to avoid blockage to my windpipe. The birds were happily singing in every direction, and I couldn’t help but notice the multitude of elders, about twenty more granddaddy longlegs scattered all around the window and siding of the house, hoards of them. It must be time to spray, I thought. But then I remembered the frogs.
Upward, on floor number two, nestled in a small aquarium in Joshua’s bedroom, is his thriving amphibian and reptile collection. At last count, I believe he had two toads, one tree frog, and two lizards, all sharing the confines of the same abode. The toads enjoy the thick layer of sandy dirt that fills the bottom, and in the center is a small bowl of water for all of the inhabitants to satisfy their thirst.
Feeding these bug-lovers has been one of the highlights of our spring. Leading this charge has been the country girl I married, Katrina, and if it weren’t for her determination to feed our current critter collection, we would certainly be overrun by crickets and granddaddies. But she has done a fine job of minimizing their populations, although the porch doesn’t seem to show it at the moment.
Joshua certainly has an overzealous concern for the appetite of his “frogs”, as he refers to his toads. Just last evening he insisted that Mommy capture the crickets that had made their way into our downstairs bathroom so they could keep his frogs from starving to death. At the ripe old age of four, Joshua just hasn’t seemed to get over the squeamishness of handling crickets and granddaddies. Frogs, lizards, and worms seem to be ok, but he depends on Mommy and his big brother Bradley to help keep his frogs fed with those wiggly wanderers.
Armed with her bare hands and a bowl, Mommy headed in the bathroom to do her kind deed, and in a few moments emerged with two crickets attempting to hop out of the bowl. She was on a dead run from the bathroom, up the stairs, then to Joshua’s room. Little did these crickets know that they would be in the dark soon, an untimely death inside a toad’s belly. Stopping at the aquarium, as Joshua arrived at her heels, Mommy opened the hatch on top and poured the victims into the arena as Joshua watched his little slimy-skinned comrades leap to the dinner table.
It’s quite an event which I have witnessed first-hand several times now. The frogs and lizards come to attention and in jumping, jerky motions move in on their prey. Although they never seem to hurt each other in the process, sometimes a frog and lizard will have a showdown over a granddaddy. Once, even after one lizard got the body of the long-legged spider in his mouth, one of the frogs kept shooting his tongue out at the mouth of the lizard, attempting to retrieve the spider by the legs which were protruding from the lizard’s mouth.
I’m feeling quite fortunate that I married a country girl who’s not afraid to handle all of those multi-legged critters to feed the creepy crawlers. Who needs all of those cable shows about animals and such when you can watch the live event at home!
Written by David Steen, with God smiling, June 5, 2010