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A true story about a dragon. - Corinne O'Flynn

A week and two days ago, I caved in to the pressures of my darling son and allowed him to use all of his money and some of mine on credit to get a pet of his own. His younger sister purchased her own pet (with all the trimmings) at the ripe age of 7, so at 11 and 11/12 I figured it was time to let the boy take on some responsibility.


Meet our bearded dragon. My son named him Frodo, which causes all kinds of happiness to bloom inside of his proud mom.

Call me Frodo

Isn’t he adorable? That’s my hand holding him. Never thought I’d do that… but he’s really tiny, and quite cute. We set up his cage, chopped up fresh veggies, fed him baby crickets (the full size ones are just too big for his tiny dragon jaws). I even dipped my finger in his conditioned water and let him drink the drop from my fingertips. We were in love.

48 hours later, my son misplaced Frodo “somewhere in the house”.

We tore the house apart while we googled the habits of baby dragons… all the while I knew what happened:

I eated Frodo

She looks totally guilty…

So… we continue to search, leaving the lights on in case Frodo finds his way back to the cage. Taking care to shake out the laundry before we stuff it into the washer.  All the while I know we’re going through the motions because of that dog. We’ll find a dragon carcass in the grass some time this summer after the thaw.

#1 Son is despondent. Sons #3 and #4 are using this as an opportunity to make me see that even though they are the younger ones, they would never have misplaced the animal. So being older and saving your money doesn’t always mean you can take care of a pet. This makes #1 son even more upset.

Darling daughter chimes in, seconding the injustice of the dragon when I know well that she has the funds to get her next pet. After all, wasn’t it MOM’S IDEA that as long as the kids used their own money they could have the pet of their choice?  Yes, it was. I never really thought anyone had the willpower to save, since they don’t get allowances at this house. But, I digress.

Meet TJ and Jack:

TJ and Jack.  (Or Jack and TJ)

This is partly my fault… because she was able to purchase the brown guy and a hutch and food, etc.  And when we pulled brown from his cage, black started crying. Actually crying… So, I bought the 2nd one.  Little guys are so sweet together and they are not lonely while the kids are in school.

Then… yesterday I am waiting for the school bus when I noticed this guy standing frozen not three feet from me:

Give me shelter

It’s like wild kingdom around here. Turns out this guy was injured and found a quiet place to hang out in my rose garden. He stayed there all afternoon and through the night. The following morning, he was still there, basking in the sun.  I knew something was wrong when he didn’t leave when I got near.

By the time I got home in the afternoon, he was laying on his side, barely breathing.  I called wildlife rescue and the police. Afraid to touch him, I sang to the poor animal while I waited. They came over and tried to roust him. When they realized he was not going to get on his feet, they put him down.  I had to go to all the neighbors and alert them to an imminent gunshot. It was terrible. But the policeman was also a hunter and knew how to make it as quick as possible.

Meanwhile, despondent son #1 is hoping Frodo will find his way home.

I am convinced now… it’s been a week.  So, I took son to the store and we picked up another one. (I know… don’t get me started on the lack of a lesson being learned here. And yeah – my husband’s right that this is about me just a little bit, too.)

Meet Son of Frodo:

I am very sleepy.

He’s even tinier that Frodo the first, and a brighter color. Sweet and tiny, loves the heat lamp.

This afternoon my friend calls me to ask if her son left his eyeglasses here. I know I’ve seen a rogue pair around here, even though five of us are bespectacled. So I wander through the house.  And there, on the mantle…

A matching set of Frodos

The guy on the right is the original.  He lived for a week on the mantle where my son *now* recalls he placed him while getting something. I am amazed that this little guy could survive without real warmth, water, or food for a week. It’s cold here in Colorado. So, at least this story has a happy ending.

Now I’m wondering what the heck the dog did to look so guilty…

About the Author Corinne

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  1. We had a pet iguana for years and I woke up one morning to discover he had died. I carried him downstairs to show my mom and announced how awful it was that my pet had died. She was in the middle of comforting a friend whose daughter had just died. I felt awful.

    Dropping by from A to Z Challenge. This will be my first year participating.

    Brett Minor
    Transformed Nonconformist

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