Monday, December 26, 2011

Sweet Lil' Glidin' Thang

So, I'm in the check-out line at Wal-Mart, and it's two days before Christmas. People are actually being pretty cool, considering the fact that there are four registers in the Flagstaff WalMart's Garden Center, and all four lines are jam packed. A teenaged girl I know appears looking overwhelmed and with just a few items, so I tell her to get in line in front of me. We start chit-chatting about how school's going for her and about what we each have planned for Christmas, and then finally it's her turn to check out. As she sets her purse down on the plastic bag merry-go-round thing and opens it to get her checkbook out, I see the checker dude lean over, peer into her back and say in an awed voice, "Where did you get it?"

I stand there holding my tongue while she says something unintelligible to him and he says things like, "Cool" and "Awesome." Finally, I can't take it anymore.

"Whatcha got in the bag?" I demand, feeling a little bit like a nosy neighbor but also just really needing to know what it is. When she holds the purse open and invites me to look inside, it takes a few moments for me to figure out what I'm looking for. But then I see it. The cutest, most otherworldly creature I have maybe ever seen (and I've seen a lot of cute in my day, let me tell you). It's on its back with its little paws curled in toward it's FUZZYLITTLETUMMY (sorry, can't write that in anything but all caps. Computer won't allow it), and it's about the size of a baby squirrel. But the eyes are what get me. The creature's head is maybe the size of a big marshmallow, but it's eyes take up most of that head.
What is it? I asked, my voice a little choked up from the sheer adorableness overload.

"It's a sugar glider," the girl tells me, "and she's guarding my wallet." Instantly I recall the Craigslist ads I've seen for these creatures over the years. I sort of assumed they were a type of snake or other amphibian. Truly, I had no idea.

And, honestly, I'm really not sure which is cuter - this or the sloth rehab video my dad sent last week. I mean, come on. Baby sloths in onesies? That's just playing dirty.

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