I went to the pet store today to get a couple of mice for Matilda the corn snake and meal worms for Chilibelina the leopard gecko, who is here for the summer. As before, the meal worms came in a plastic tub with a lid and the mice came in a box with pictures of mice, budgies and hamsters on the sides. I got home and opened the mouse box to find four teeny red eyes looking at me and two quivering pink noses and white whiskers being raised inquiringly. One of the mice wore a little brown mouse poop on his head—you would be amazed at how much poop two mice produce in twenty minutes.
Instead of saying “frozen adult mice,” I must have said, “adult mice” at the store. Frozen is generally the default state for feeder mice, so I didn’t even consider that I’d find live mice in the box. Matilda has never encountered a live adult mouse. Most likely, the several generations of captive-bred corn snakes from which she’s descended haven’t, either.
Reflecting that the cost of gas was making these very expensive mice, I drove back to the store to exchange Chuck and Lola for two frozen mice. Frozen mice don’t have names and can’t bite back.