by George E. Marsh
Sweet Singer and Pet Horned Toads
It was way down the line in New Mexico that I heard it. I had
just awakened and lay on my cot facing the wall of the tent.
There came to me music like that of a microscopic canary singing
a lullaby. It was oh, so sweet and oh, so faint. As I rolled
my head to raise my ear the music faded and as I turned my head
in the other direction it grew louder. Lifting my head even
an inch, it was no more. I listened, wondered and marveled–
wondered what it could be and marveled at its delicate beauty.
Never before had I heard anything so faint and yet so clear,
so tuneful, so mysterious. Entranced, I listened. What could
it be? Noting the exact spot on my pillow (my folded-up sheep-lined
coat), I gently arose and unfolded the coat. Alas, my (insect)
songster was nowhere to be seen.
Every now and then I find articles as we drive along, wrenches,
screwdrivers, et cetera. As Daily, the truck driver, was taking
Upplinger and me to our stations, I saw a white flour sack in
the road. As I picked it up, I remarked that it had a package
of corn flakes as that was what I felt within. Again seated
in the truck, I brought forth a sure enough c.f. carton but
it contained a recently prepared lunch of two nice egg sandwiches,
one with pineapple jam and goodly chunk of chocolate cake! These
we promptly ate with glee and gusto. A horse-man of some sort
had doubtless lost it
The horned toads are making history. Aridious Desertarious,
Ari, for short, laid 32 eggs as I have reported. The three ladies
from Montana, all Mona, Mono, Moni are the mothers respectively.
The youngsters were 3/4 inch long when born and lengthened to
an inch the first day. They were lively and made great ado over
eating their first ants, very small ones of course. It was quite
impossible to get them to pose for their picture and the best
I could do was to turn them all out in the lid of an oatmeal
carton and them topsy turvy.
Wishing them well, I let them go in three different localities
that I thought would best suit their natural requirements. It
was not without some reluctance that I left them all behind
but facilities and leisure time to play nursemaid to 58 baby
lizards are too limited, interesting as it might be.
Mexa and Mexe are yet to be heard from; or perhaps they are
Mex and Mox? And whether they are oviparous or viviparous is