The Great Escape

Anyone who has a boy will know that anytime your son goes outside he will come back with a special "friend". My boys' "friends" are an eclectic mix. They are ants, worms, caterpillars, beetles and toads. Half the fun of entertaining these friends is making homes for them in buckets or other large containers. Finding just the right flora, fauna or dirt to make the occupant feel right at home is a necessity.

When visiting Grandma and Grandpa this past weekend the boys found their very first salamander. (Actually dad found it, but the boys were happy to adopt it.) What an exciting day that was. They gathered together all the necessary equipment to house their new friend for a time, and carried the salamander everywhere they went. My oldest is especially fond of critters and developed quite an attachment to little Sal.

We were scheduled to visit some friends for dinner that night and we brought Sal with us. Upon arriving we realized Sal might be in danger due to the chickens roaming free on the property so we decided to keep Sal safely ensconced in the back of the car. It was dark outside when we left and we only had the small light from the car to look into Sal's home so we brought the bucket inside to make sure Sal was ok. The bucket was empty! Hmm? We got a few flashlights and proceeded to hunt for Sal in the car. This was all in our friends driveway mind you. We had a diaper bag, three portable chairs, a camera bag and tripod in the back. We pulled all those out, opened all the chairs, searched through the diaper bag and camera bag. No Sal. By this time both boys were in tears fearing that their new friend was MIA. We looked high and low, nothing. And then, there went Sal, making the great escape. Sal must have been hiding on the camera tripod and when all the commotion died down around him, he made a break for it across the gravel driveway.

We collected Sal, put a cover on the bucket this time, and drove back out to Grandma's and Grandpa's. We had a small ceremony to celebrate Sal's release back into the wild and giggled at the tale he'd have to share with all his salamander friends of how he made his great escape.