Making friends as an adult is hard

My two-year-old son believes he can catch the sparrows. He flaps his arms. The birds cock their heads as if to say what strange featherless creature are you? His hands are sticky with mango juice, better for trapping them. He pets their heads with his pointer fingers, stares into their black-marble eyes. He takes them into his bedroom, and they circle around his head, roost on his crib when he curls up for the night. When he goes to the dentist, he takes them with him in a cardboard box with holes punched. He tells the dentist, please check their teeth too. He feeds them worms that he digs from beneath the rocks, fingernails dark with earth. He braids tiny friendship bracelets made out of his hair for them to wear around their skinny legs. He leaves his window ajar one night and out they fly. He flings open the front door, sprints after them, intent on wrapping his hands around their little necks. “Run!” I tell him. “Catch your friends while you still can.”

Don’t tongue the royal croaker

The amphibian is golden—flakes of gold painted onto his skin by a fairy artist. His legs dipped in black ink, eyes reflective orbs. He’s shimmery, slippery, shiny in an irresistible way that makes you want to run your fingers all over him, imagine the gold flakes rubbing into your skin—a luxurious spa treatment. You could capture the creature in the palm of your hand, bring him home in a glass jar, name him, give him a tiny bow tie and take photos of the two of you on the porch swing, sun bathing, leaping into the lake. The creature uses a trilling call to attract receptive females, like you. Courtship is tactile—he strokes his mate’s head, back, flanks, and cloacal areas to stimulate the release of her eggs or bra straps. Likely the most poisonous animal on the planet—even a touch could be deadly, let alone a kiss. He’s called Phyllobates terribilis, golden poison dart frog.