He's 3 years old and at least 3 1/2 feet long. Right before he sheds he likes to lay in his water bowl. That's what he's up to here. Curled up tight as he can and jammed in snug as a bug in a rug. He is a corn snake and a typical orange color. He is lovingly cared for by The Scientist.
You see last summer I signed all three kids up for a pet care program at the local library. I should have known better. I figured they had an assortment of the pets so what else could there be, right? Will I ever learn? These are all rhetorical questions since I've been been down this path before.
It was a 4H program and the kids really enjoyed it. On reptile day The Scientist came home with all sorts of grand ideas about reptiles, especially the snakes. Her latest obsession was born. Immediately she wants to get her own snake. Are you kidding me, a snake!! I'm not afraid of them, I just don't consider them pets. They're more like a wild animal to me. I'm more a mammal kinda girl. But The Scientist will not be dissuaded. So I send her on a mission to learn all she can about snakes, hoping (but secretly knowing better) that she will burn herself out and get over it. A month or so later The Engineer takes all three kids to a small local zoo that was having an open house. I'm at work oblivious to what's happening. Later that night I hear how The Scientist found an error on a sign attached to the snake cage. She took her findings to the owner of the zoo who was very impressed with her knowledge of snakes. He gave her the inside tour of the zoo and offered to give her a baby snake when one became available. The Engineer was impressed and I was stunned when he reversed his decision to let her get a snake. What the heck, I was depending on his resounding "NO WAY" to get me out of this.
The other part of the deal was we weren't going to foot the bill for this little critter.
Tell me, do you think that a snake still technically qualifies as a critter? Never mind....
Somewhere along the line The Scientist and The Vet got a regular babysitting job. Both had been working together and saving their money. It wasn't long before The Scientist had the cash for a snake. All along she had been researching reptile rescues and corn snake forums (all her research showed a corn snake to be the perfect first snake) so when the cash became available she knew what she needed and was all set when the zoo called and said, "We have one for you."
If you'll follow the time line you'll see that this happened late last summer, and that they offered her a baby snake, which is what she got. Back track to the first paragraph and you'll see Marty is 3 years old. It doesn't take a math wiz to figure that Marty wasn't her first snake. Her first snake was a baby girl. Her short stay with us is a topic for another post and another layer of fodder for her to share with her therapist when she's thirty.
Back to Marty. About one week after Marty came to live with us The Scientist and The Vet were laid off from their babysitting job. The slump in the economy knows no age limits apparently. Fortunately, after the initial start up fees reptiles are pretty inexpensive to keep. Well, as long as they are healthy. I'm in denial about vet costs for reptiles, so I'm not going there. We have a bag of frozen mice in the freezer that will hold for a while so he's happily fed without tapping into my budget.
So Marty has grown on me. He loves to wrap around my neck and crawl through my hair. He's even rested his head on my glasses a few times. He's a very gentle snake. Easy to hold and is especially fond of The Scientist. He's certainly not cuddly but he's not a wild animal either. I have some better pictures of him and hope to add them soon enough. And of course like every animal that finds it's way into our home, he has his own set of stories to tell.