Fun with Ferrets

I’m not a big ferret fan. I think they smell and they have a weird way about them. But, my kids love all furry, smelly creatures, so naturally they want one. Actually, they want a hamster or a guinea pig or some other stinky creature.  It doesn’t matter, we’re not getting one. I have friends with these little hairy animals and I’d rather keep it that way. We can visit them and not have to do all the nasty poo pick-up maintenance.

We went to a pet store the other day to kill time before school let out and to let my boys see all God’s creatures. Really, I wanted to see a turtle. They’d just heard the Judy Blume story where the little brother, Fudge, swallows a turtle whole. I was hoping to put that into perspective for them. No turtles the day we went to the pet store. Lame. Not to waste the trip, we took our time checking out all the little fish, while avoiding the tanks of tarantulas and snakes. A five-year old and a one year old could probably spend an entire day wandering around the pet shop. Luckily, there was a very patient employee who took out all sorts of animals for us to look at and pet. The baby pet everything. He wasn’t scared at all. My preschooler was a tad more cautious.

As we walked around, we approached the ferret cage. There were two in the enclosure. One slept up high in a little loft area and the second one curled up asleep in a tiny tube on the bottom floor. We checked out the bunnies and birds, guinea pigs and hamsters, but we kept coming back to those little guys. My five-year old watched in wonder as the ferret on the lower level began to rouse. He/She/It stretched out and then got up, scurrying with purpose to the corner of the cage.

That little ferret backed itself into the corner, tail first, and before we had a second to question what would happen next, nature called. The ferret put the stink in its cage – drop by drop, pellet by pellet. My boys couldn’t have been happier.

Ferrets pooping before their very eyes, my boys began to squeal with excitement. This must have been the highlight of their day. Not even an impromptu trip to Disney Land could have topped this. Nature was unfolding right in front of them. Nature in all its nastiness.

Times like these remind me that it really is the little stuff that makes life count. If you can’t sit back and laugh at ferrets pooping, what can you smile at? And, hey, at least they knew what it was. Not like the time we saw a bird giving another bird a “piggy back ride” at the Zoo… but that’s another story…


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