Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mr. Python and Me

Hi Everyone,

Being a horse person, I’ve always considered myself to be very comfortable around animals. Today, I was shown what real dedication is. I attending a Zoo class for 5-7 year olds with my daughter. The theme was snakes. Yup, I petted an interesting variety of snakes, including (oh, my!) a boa constrictor.

While stifling my urge to flee, I was struck by the incredible dedication of the staff running the class. The way they spoke of and cared for the snakes showed an amazing love for all living things.

The instructors mentioned that Ball Pythons make wonderful household pets. Hmmm. Well, my kids are dying to have a pet and since my husband is allergic to anything with fur or feathers, I gathered my courage and approached the teacher after class to ask about purchasing a python (Gulp!).

I was enthusiastically informed that I should make sure there are no mites on a snake before I buy it and no flakes on the skin. They also encouraged looking in the mouth but they weren't sure a snake would let me. Perhaps here these lovely people were being diplomatic as I'm sure the truth was obvious by all the color draining from my face, the truth being I could never pluck up the courage to look in said mouth. I’ll spare you all the, er, feeding routine, but I was told as far as sleeping arrangements if I buy a twenty gallon tank the snake will be quite comfortable.

Now, I’m right on board with horse mom duties—willing to tote around water bottles, fly spray, jackets between classes and other pack mule type tasks while cheering success and consoling less happy results.

If we had a dog or cat I would be pretty realistic about which family member would be responsible for care and feeding (that would be me). But, folks, much as I do love animals and wish all of them nothing but the best, I draw the line at feeding a family python. When the kids are old enough to take all responsibility for said snake, I may take a deep breath and say alright. Then all I’ll have to worry about is having guests over and Mr. Python slithering down the steps to join the party. As a hostess, I wouldn’t consider my party a success if the guests were stampeding to the door, but on the other hand, I wouldn’t really blame them.

Maybe my horse-crazy kids will be happy enough with the animals at our local barn and Mr. Python and I will be able to wish each other well and go our separate ways. Here’s hoping!



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