Follow me on a serendipitous journey to the sugar glider... coming up in June will be a beach-themed show at Ciel Gallery, and I am honored to be one of the featured artists for the show. Being a good do-be, I decided to try and work ahead some beach-themed art during this challenge.
Contemplating various sea creatures and shore inhabitants, I decided to do a hermit crab piece. Of course I first needed to understand exactly what one looked like and get a sense of its personality. I began doing the necessary research on hermit crabs and came across some great photos on a website about "easy pets for kids." Right after the hermit crab, they listed a sugar glider.
Sugar glider? I'd never even heard of one, and here is a website basically suggesting I run out and get one for my grandson. They are insanely cute, and they glide! Like having a remote control helicopter or something....everyone should have one because it is one better! I decided to paint one of these cuties instead.
Of course my story doesn't end here. Having raised a herd of children and having survived a million different pets ("it's so cute, mom! I have to have him! I'll clean the cage feed him change the water walk him pet him love him and never ever ever get bored with him I promise) I decided maybe I should know a little more about these cuties before I add them to the list of things I might be kinda sorta maybe could say "yes" to.
What do you know? There is a sugar glider rescue (www.suggiesavers.org) where you can adopt one of many adorable creatures because they are now homeless. With names like "baby" and "nugget" and "wasabi", who could resist? I could, that's who. Apparently, sugar gliders live for 15 years (this is no hermit crab!) and have extremely particular dietary requirements to remain healthy. It would be easier to continue to feed my gluten-free sugar-free processed food-free family than one of these tiny sweethearts. They are also sensitive to chemicals (we all are, I believe) and can get sick simply by licking your hand if you have some residue on it.
So what is the message for me? The sugar glider is not a totem animal. They are nocturnal and extremely sensitive, tiny and wildly adorable. The message for me is: just say "no."
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