I saw these being sold at our local grocery store. It's not just a grocery store, but it's also a pharmacy/bank/hardware/book store that also houses a florist shop. And when I saw the Venus Flytrap, it brought back a lot of childhood memories for me.
As a kid, a Venus Flytrap was like owning some sort of science fiction monster. I mean, it actually EATS bugs! It traps them and then the jaws of death clamp down on the insect while it's still alive. After that, the digestion process begins. It's like letting loose a live mouse into a snake pen. You watch with fascination as the cruelties of life unfold (or fold, in this case...) before your very eyes.
I remember getting one of these plants when I was a kid. I'm not exactly sure where we got it--pretty sure it wasn't at the local Farmington A/P. I can't be sure, but we probably found some ants outside and dropped them into the thing. Or we trapped a fly or another bug and lowered it to its doom. I know we did something else, too. We put little pieces of meat into the traps and watched it do its thing. I'm not sure why we did this--maybe it was my big brother who said it was okay to do it. I don't know.
I remember being excited buying the new one and showing my kids how we could feed it a little piece of ham. They'd watch with fascination, too. But, I was surprised to read on the packaging that feeding it meat was a no-no. I guess it will just have to fend for itself.
I don't know how long we had that Venus Flytrap back in the day or how long it lived. I don't think it survived very long. Then again, if we were feeding it meat, and we weren't supposed to, maybe that's why I don't remember it living that long.