Friday, April 20, 2007

A snake in a glass case...

is sitting in my homeschool room.  Why? you incredulously ask.  Because his previous place of residence was crawling up our basement door to reach the birdnest, containing eggs, underneath the screened in porch. There was just something about seeing a 3 1/2 foot rat snake making his way deliberately up the side of the house that didn't sit right with me.

So I asked my husband to catch him, and then to put him into the aquarium we use for containment of captured critters.

While I didn't want to help him acquire the bird's eggs, I also didn't see the need to kill him either.  The plan is to keep him for a few days, let some of the boys' friends see him, and then release him into the wild--far, far, far, far away.

I'm not squeamish about snakes.  I actually asked for a hognosed snake for my 16th birthday.  No, I didn't think my parents would in return desperately buy a car for me.  Although, if I'd thought of that then... Nah!  There was a hognosed snake that my science teacher kept, and I was truly interested in how that thing moved, ate, flicked its tongue, and explored its territory.  It didn't scare me.  I became one of its regular keepers until the science teacher released it.

Since that time though, I've acquired a healthier respect for snakes other than just considering them interesting.  My husband works outside a lot, and he wears snake boots and carries a small pistol with snake shot for this particular time of year when rattlesnakes decide they can slither anywhere they rattlin' please.  He has walked up on quite a few of the larger variety in fact and dispatched either them or himself from the area.  I'm very grateful that he has a keen outdoor sense for those things.  I, on the other hand, would probably firmly plant my foot on a timber rattler, believing it to be a thick branch, but turn and run from a wild grapevine.

As for the snake downstairs in the glass case--well, I'm not in charge of its care right now, so we're back to having the mere interesting relationship.  My primary task is to keep Blue, the cat, off of the top of the aquarium.  That, I'm definitely up to doing for a couple of days. 

Maybe I can even wangle a couple of animal science lessons out of the deal.


  1. Hmmm... not surprising. Most of my homeschool friends have veritable menageries in their homes. Something about how valuable they are for science lessons and teaching responsibility, yada yada yada. IMHO, snakes belong in the out-of-doors very far away from my home. I guess that's why I'm not a homeschooler. I already flunked all the tests! Hope you have some fun with your critter before releasing him to sweet freedom.

  2. Sorry we missed the food chain/digestion lesson. Hope things went well. I look forward to hearing about it.

  3. VERY cool! The kids and I went to a local exhibit and got to hold several snakes just last month. They are stunningly beautiful creatures.

  4. The only good snake is a...well, you can guess where my feelings lie. Stunningly beautiful they may be; I for one do not care to be close enough to observe!