A Boy And His Newt

“I’d like to live with a newt,” you might quietly shout to yourself as I did in 7th grade. I got one. His name is Newty. I also named our golden retriever “Goldie.” I guess I was a late bloomer in the creativity department. Anyway, I put him in the same category as lizards and goldfish as far as life expectancy. I’ve had a few hamsters in my day, but never did I expect Newty to outlast one of them. So the first year of my newt ownership goes by, and he’s doing pretty well. Two more years pass by, and I give the little guy two enthusiastic thumbs up. He’s even grown substantially. Finally, I get to college. This is when you might say to yourself if you were in my shoes, “Maverick, we best be prepared for the newt to leave us shortly. It’s getting to be that time.” “You’re absolutely right,” you’d reply. “I know you are, but what am I?” Then after you detangle the internal mess you just made, you realize a couple more years went by. Quite frankly I had just about had enough. I’ve been silently mourning the impending death of a pet who is still swaggering across his cage with his surprisingly scrappy little arms. “Something’s not right,” I murmur. So I flush him. No, kidding. For the first time in my official newt owning life, I ask Jeeves “How long do fire belly newts live?” I expected my next question for Jeeves to be “What’s Ripley’s phone number?” until I read the answer to my first. Apparently, they live 30 to 60 years if well taken care of. Kind of a minor detail Snellville’s pet shop failed to mention. This got me thinking. It’s possible that my grandkids will have the opportunity to eat a newt tail. Do you know what will happen if they succeed? (I do, ha, cause I looked it up.) Their tongues will go numb. Yup. Newty’s got a mildly annoying but still nifty little defense mechanism primed for parties. My name is Will. I’m 23, and I’m a proud newt owner.