Pieces of terra-cotta pottery, one soaked in water. After being soaked, you spread seeds all over the pottery. In a few days, you had a scary creature with little sprouts coming out of it. I had one, but it got moldy after 2 weeks.

They had that little jingle stuck in my head, "Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia! The pottery that grows!"

Yup, it’s that time of year my friends. It’s time to deck the halls and break out the eggnog and try to find that perfect gift for that special someone. It’s that time of year when jingles get stuck in your head and you just might find yourself singing “Clap on! Clap off! The Clapper! for no good reason.

Another little ditty that comes along every year to remind me of the joys of the holiday season is that of the Chia Pet. Apparently these elusive little critters spend up to eleven months in hibernation and awaken sometime in early December just in time for the Christmas shopping season to begin. Their arrival is heralded in song and as they descend in droves one can’t seem to escape their call.

Ch Ch Ch Chia!

Ch Ch Ch Chia!

Ch Ch Ch Chia!

Long thought to be extinct by the scientific community, the first Chia Pet was spotted sometime in 1982. It had taken on the guise of a ram and soon became a staple in households around the country. After vanishing for most of 1983, Chia Pets began coming out of the woodwork throughout the rest of the eighties. Several new species such as the Chia Bull, Chia Puppy, Chia Kitten and even a plant genus known as the Chia Tree were discovered over the ensuing decade.

In 1993, the species seemed to be thriving as scientists stumbled upon a new branch/subset of Chia’s. They included the likes of the Chia Bunny, The Chia Turtle and an edible form of Chia known as the Chia Herb Garden.

In 1995, more Chia species came out from their hiding places. The world was stood on its ear when the Chia Pig, the Chia Frog and the Chia Hippo burst on the scene. There was even a mutant Chia known formally in the scientific community as the “Chia Head” that was discovered. It was also about this time that the spotting of the original Chia Ram and Chia Bull declined.

In 1996 the world was shocked to discover the Chia’s amazing power to adapt to the environment. In the animal kingdom, a new subspecies known as the Chia Elephant trumpeted its arrival. In the same year, several scientists who claimed to be experts in the growing field of Chiaology began to express their concerns over the proliferation of the Chia’s when Chia Kid, Chia Professor and Chia Clown began assuming human characteristics. Proving that nature can’t be stopped, the Chia Herb Garden took on a more flexible role and was re-named the Chia Terra Cotta Herb Garden later that same year.

After a two year hiatus, only two more species were discovered in the year 1998. They were the Chia Cow and the Chia Lion Cub.

Maybe it was the onset of a new century but the year 2000 was one of the strangest ones in the annals of Chia history. First, there was the discovery of a Chia Dinosaur. If that wasn’t enough to baffle the scientists, the further discovery of the Chia Elmer Fudd, the Chia Taz and Chia Tweety Bird had them burning the midnight oil. Later that year, a brief spotting of a rare and elusive Chia Mr.T turned their worlds upside down.

As far as the Chia’s themselves go, the ensuing years have been quite different. Having already assumed the identity of many popular animal species and taken on the human form, Chia’s turned their attention to television and movies. They seemed to focus their attention on animated species and the next couple of years saw such cartoon favorites as Chia Scooby-Doo, Chia Shaggy Dog and Chia Homer Simpson were introduced. The were soon followed by the likes of Chia Bugs Bunny, Chia Daffy Duck and Chia Bart Simpson

The years covering 2004 and 2006 were unprecedented in Chia history. It was as if nothing could hold them back as Chia Shrek, Chia Donkey, Chia Garfield and even a Chia Cat Grass Planter evolved and made their debut.

The last wave of Chia’s to make their presence known might be the most impressive yet. It included the rediscovery of Chia Ram and Chia Bull, both of whom were thought to be extinct. Chia Bear, Chia Alex and Chia Marty were brought to us.

Alas, Chia Kid, Chia Clown and Chia Lion Cub were no longer able to be found. One can only hope that their absence is only temporary.

In a stunning new development, Chia’s have once again displayed their remarkable ability to adapt. Crude forms of a Chia Alarm Clock have been spotted in stores across the country. When the alarm sounds, it plays the traditional “”Ch Ch Ch Chia!” theme song.

This marks the first time the Chia’s have ventured into the world of machines and early technology. It makes you wonder if they aren’t somehow trying to communicate with us.

Are there more Chia's on the horizon?

Given their relative short history and proven track record, it is this author’s opinion that it won’t be long before the once innocent Chia Pet comes to dominate our world.

At least in December



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