While in the backyard the other evening, I had company. Fireflies. I remember as a child running around Grandma and Grandpa Boone's backyard. If some of my cousins were there with me, one of us would have a Mason or Ball canning jar with a lid. We would all be running around like crazy trying to fill the jar with as many fireflies as we could catch.
That got me to thinking what else I tried to catch as a youngster. Well, there were crickets. That involved a shoe box with holes punched in the lid. Sometimes that shoe box would hold a frog or a turtle. Of course, with all of these animals, I wasn't allowed to keep them. I returned them back into the wild, alive and unharmed.
Photo: Fotolia/Christin Lola
I was never allowed to catch a baby bird. If I found one, I was instructed, usually by one of my grandfathers or an uncle, to leave it alone. However, once in a while, one would fly into a window. When that happened, I was told to get my trusty shoe box, minus the lid. The shoe box would then be used as a makeshift nest until the bird came to its senses and flew away.
I never had any use for catching snakes. The slithering things startle the daylights out of me. Even garter snakes, which are harmless, give me the creeps. I feel the same way about mice, unless there's a trap involved. Of course, me being me, I won't touch the dead mouse. I'd prefer someone else did disposal duty. The only mouse I have ever liked is a stuffed mouse that a coworker gave me for Christmas to add to my stuffed animal collection.
Does anyone remember collecting pet rocks? Yes, I admit it, I believe I may be giving away my age with that one! I don't think the current generation knows what that would be unless they grab their Android/iPhone to look it up on the Onternet. My collection of pet rocks always went through a fast "catch and release" program from my mother. She hated to see me come in with them and hated it even more when I would give them a "bath" in the bathroom sink. So much for that collection!
So as I go back out this evening, I'll be greeted again by the fireflies. Once again, I'll be wishing that I could go back to being a child, even for a little while.