When I was little, we lived on a farm in North Dakota. Our sandbox was made from a tractor tire filled with sand and we spent hours building little mountains and digging little holes.
One day, my sisters and I had played in our sandbox all afternoon and we had each dug our own hole. My aunt Julie came over that evening to babysit us while our parents went somewhere and I was eager to impress her with our hole digging. After all, Julie was cool. She got to eat her cereal in the living room in front of the tv at Grandpa and Grandma’s, while we had to sit at the kitchen table.
Anyway, my parents were in the backyard giving Julie some last minute instructions, so I grabbed my opportunity. The holes that Tina and I had dug were messy, but I noticed that Rachel’s hole, which was tucked under the tire wall, was perfect. “Julie!” I yelled, “Look at the hole that Rachel dug!” At the same time, I stuck my finger in the opening of the hole to make sure that she knew which hole I was talking about. When I withdrew my finger, there were two beady little eyes, a mouth, and a spotty body attached to it. I screamed bloody murder and shook it off of my finger. I had never seen a creature like that. Before the little salamander could make its escape, my dad scooped it up with a spade and brought it out to the shelter belt for the same treatment that he gave any snakes we found.
For a little girl that was scared of everything, finding a salamander attached to my finger was almost enough to give me heart failure. I’ve been a little wary of sandboxes ever since.
There you have it. That’s my salamander story and it wasn’t a very interesting one either. Maybe I should go do something else, like clean the crumbs out of my couch cushions.