So this morning after breakfast and before camp Iggy and I decided it was high time to clean the wooden Chinese bird cage that has been hanging from the kitchen ceiling for the past 20-odd years. Collecting dust and dead bugs, especially dead stink bugs. There has never been an actual bird inside the bird cage, but there is a petrified baby alligator head, an oropendola nest, some fake brown and white eggs and a couple fake birds with wire talons, clinging to the outside of the bird cage.
I am not sure whether the reptilian head in question is mummified or petrified or just freeze-dried, but I do know that it was once alive. Because I told Iggy so.
“Nana, is this real?”
“Definitely,” I said. “It’s dead now. But it was once alive, entirely.”
“But not the eyeballs,” Iggy said. “They’re marbles. Of course. If they were real crocodile eyeballs, or any type of eyeballs, they would stink! I’m warning ya!”
“I stand warned,” said. “But we still don’t know if this was a crocodile or an alligator. Or something else.”
“If we see his teeth when he closes his mouth, then it’s an alligator,” Iggy said. “With crocodiles, the teeth stick out.”
“I don’t see your teeth when your mouth is shut, so you must be an alligator,” I said.
“But Nana, I’m not a reptile!”
Then I told Iggy that, according to a show about entomophagy that I heard on NPR, the absolute worst tasting insect of all the possible insects to eat, is a live stink bug.
He considered this. “But I know a bug that tastes like pizza.”
“It has a white body, - the whole body is white - and then a red face. With one big eye. I think it is a grub. Yes! That’s it, a straight-up grub. And it tastes like pizza.”
It just so happens that today is Pizza Friday at Hastings Day Camp.