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Dianne Salerni : Writer of Teen and Middle Grade Fiction | Cricket Wrangling and Other Chores at the Salerni House

Cricket Wrangling and Other Chores at the Salerni House

While we were away last week, I got an email from my sister-in-law Deb O’Donnell who agreed to watch our house and look after the pets for us. Apparently, watching our house inspires people to sit down and write about the experience! I previously had a guest blog post from Deb’s husband, Larry, about what happened to him while waiting to meet the washer delivery people for us.  I don’t know how our house became so complicated. (I blame the other 3 residents …)

Deb’s email:

So I go to your house to feed the critters and get the mail. I feed and water Sorcia and then go check on the lizards. I see one sitting on a leaf.  Ok, good where is the other one? I look in the side. I look in the other side. I move the light. I stand on tiptoe and look in the top. No lizard.
I check the front again. Peer around the sides. Look closer at the leaves. Repeat. Look closer. Start to panic a little. Ok, take a deep breath and look again. Is that a tail or a piece of plant? Oh it’s a tail! Sneaky critter, it’s the same color as the leaf. 
So, following Gina’s instructions, I head upstairs to get the crickets to feed them. The instructions were to get four crickets from the container with the net and put them in the small tupperware container for transport to the lizards.
(Me, reading email: Why didn’t Gina catch the crickets in advance for her???)
Ok, open the lid. Quick close the lid as crickets attempt to escape. All right, I can do this, let me think. I tap on the container and get the crickets to go to the bottom. Open the lid, get the net, I’m doing good. Corner four crickets with the net. I’m good. Get the crickets in the net, start to lift them up to put them in the transport container. AGGGHHHH! Three crickets jump out of the net in three different directions, only one lands in the transport container.
There’s one. Missed. There’s another. Missed again. Take a deep breath. Think. There’s one. Got it!!!!
Sorcia comes up. “Whatcha looking at under the desk? Can I help? Oops I’m not suppose to be upstairs.” Lotta help you were, Sorcia.
(Me, reading email: Sorcia knows she’s not supposed to be upstairs!)
Turn on the light. There’s one on the Barbie head. Gotcha! Two out of three’s not bad, right? But I better find the other one or it will probably have two million babies by next week.
(Me, reading email: Like there’s not already a million crickets loose in the house from the ones Gina and Gabbey have let escape …)
Staring at carpet, willing cricket to come out of its hiding place. Tick, tick, tick. Maybe it’s over here by the chair. Looking, looking, movement!. Found it! Got it. Oops its leg got a little broken. Hope the lizard doesn’t mind. Take the crickets down to the lizards. Carefully open the tank. Opening the cricket container. One cricket sees what’s coming and tries to make a break for it. I’m prepared. I drop the whole container in. Quick shut the lid. Lizard didn’t seem to mind the one with the broken leg.
Fished the container out. Closed up the tank. Thank goodness. Come on, Sorcia, want to come home with me for a visit?
(Me, sitting in hotel bar with my husband, wiping tears of laughter away: “It’s a wonder Deb and Larry still agree to watch our house.” Bob and I laugh over our martinis knowing the lizards are fed, the crickets have been fed to the lizards, and Sorcia is off to be spoiled at Aunt Deb’s house.)

12 Responses to Cricket Wrangling and Other Chores at the Salerni House

  1. SA Larsenッ says:

    OMGosh! Deb is awesome!! I could totally picture this.

  2. This is funny. Not sure I’d agree to do this. Hope your trip was fun.

  3. Too funny. I also am getting itchy thinking about the crickets jumping around.

  4. OMG. Completely and utterly related to this post! My daughter is the proud owner of a leopard gecko and I have to buy crickets regularly. My daughter does most of the feeding but once in a while I have to do it. Blech. Those little buggers give me the heebie-jeebies!

    Are those chameleons you have?

  5. Linda G. says:

    LOL! You might want to bring Deb a present. Just sayin’… 😉

  6. mshatch says:

    omg, too funny. Did she actually touch a cricket with her hands? ICK!!!

  7. Deb here – Friday when I had to feed them again, I brought my 6 year old son. Small fingers. Sharp eye site. Quick reflexes. No problem!

  8. Joanne Fritz says:

    What a hoot, Dianne. Even your house-sitters are entertaining writers. And crickets loose in the house – eek!

    Hope you’re enjoying Killington. I can’t imagine it in the winter, having only been there in the summer. I miss the Cascades Lodge, though.

  9. Deb is a very generous person. 😉

  10. Lexa Cain says:

    Your house is like Adventureland with livestock, reptiles and insects! You should charge admission. 😀

  11. That’s hilarious. But, I’ll be honest. If someone asked me to feed their lizards and expected me to catch the things, too, um … no. lol

  12. vbtremper says:

    That’s the most hilarious email ever.

    Yeah, teenagers seem too busy during the school year to read. Maybe your daughter will learn the hard way how important reading is to a writer. Good luck!

    -Vicki