A Skink Named "Lunch"

by Tina Blue
December 20, 2000

          The milk snake's favorite food is the five-line skink, a tiny, beautiful, iridescent blue lizard. But in captivity, milk snakes are usually fed pinkies and fuzzies--i.e., baby mice.

          Considering that they eat mice, which aren't even reptiles, after all, you'd think milk snakes would be eager to switch to skinks if given a chance. But my first milk snake, Wraith, was picky about his skinks. It was five-line skinks or no skinks.

          At one point, shortly after I first got Wraith, he went off his feed for awhile, refusing to eat the pinkies I had been feeding him. My herpetologist friend, Randy, brought Wraith a five-line skink one day, and Wraith ate it in an instant, obviously very, very hungry.

          But five-line skinks are hard to find and hard to catch, so the next time we needed to feed Wraith, Randy brought him a prairie skink. Prairie skinks are a dull brown, with yellowish stripes, and about twice the size of five-line skinks, though still small enough for Wraith to eat.

          But Wraith turned his snout up at the lizard. He wasn't interested at all. Who knows why. About a week later he went back to eating pinkies, so Randy didn't bring over any more skinks for him. No point in spoiling him with hard-to-get delicacies, after all.

          Since Wraith didn't want the prairie skink, I kept her as a pet, setting her up in her own private aquarium. Naturally, I named her "Lunch." Lunch lived in the lap of luxury for two years, sunning herself and gobbling live crickets to her heart's content, never guessing that she had landed in hog heaven by mistake.

          She was supposed to be Wraith's lunch--not my "Lunch."
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