- An interesting animal I had
- An interesting animal I ate
- An interesting animal in the Museum
- An interesting thing I did with or to an animal
- An interesting animal in its natural habitat
1. They're all interesting. But first place is a toss-up between the Coturnix japonica who always made me laugh with his sneeze-like crow and the painted turtle who had lost a leg in some earlier tragedy. He thumped around the house and always showed up in the kitchen at suppertime, usually with a dust bunny on his nose, to stare at me like a puppy 'til he got fed.
2. Well, I didn't eat the whole thing, but at the best Chinese restaurant in town I once ordered Duck Webs. Apparently you can put enough sauce and MSG on anything and make it edible. Oh, wait! I just remembered the platter of delicacies my Greek friend ordered on my birthday. After we'd eaten about half of it I asked what it was. She said, "The head of a cow." I thought that might be some sort of mistranslated idiom. But, no. It was every soft part of the head of the cow: tongue, cheek, brains and, my personal favorite, eyeballs.
3. It's been a while since I've been to a museum. But at the Paleontological Research Institute, there's a painting of a Mastodon overlooking Cayuga Lake. My friend Bill painted it when he was a student in the 1950s. He went up to where Ithaca College now stands for a view of the lake. For the painting he raised the water level considerably to reflect how it looked when there were Mastodons here.
4. You know how people ask you to water their plants while they're away? My best friend in grad school asked me to feed her spiders over Christmas vacation. Yeah. Jumping spiders - her lab animals. Dozens, maybe hundreds of Phidipus audax each in its own test tube. The big ones had to get a house fly and the little ones four fruit flies - all alive, of course. I could slow the flies down with a little CO2. But it was tricky to get the test tube opened and drop in the flies before the spider jumped out.
5. Again, they're all interesting. But when I find them on the dill in the garden, I can never resist bringing Swallowtail butterfly larva into the house to watch. All lime green and lemon yellow with black stripes. They're really beautiful.
Now the hard part: to tag other people who will have stories to tell about interesting animals.