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Tale As Old As Time OR How Snakey Baken Touched Our Lives (10/7/11)

28 Oct

So, if you don’t know who Snakey Baken is, he’s the teeny tiny corn snake who came to our house on Christmas last year. He was about 6 inches long and had the girth of my pinky finger. We suspected that he would show up on this particular holiday so, before commiting to welcoming him into our home, I went all out to make the most of the “first pet” our oldest boy would own. I did everything right. I bought an educational book on how to have a corn snake for a pet. I forced my son to read the book from cover to cover so he could take a customized test (that I took lots of time to prepare). If he didn’t pass the test, there was no way we would allow the snake in our home. After passing the test with flying colors, our son also had to sign a contract. This particular contract stated many important oaths to feed the snake, assist in cleaning the terrarium, handle the snake on a regular basis and so on… It also included the agreement to ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS close the lid properly because corn snakes are escape artists. My son, a very strong willed child, willing to prove to his parents that he was capable of caring for his first pet, did everything he was supposed to do. Survived corn snake 101. Stuck around for the defrosting and demise of every pinkie (dead pink baby mouse) to make sure Snakey Baken was fed properly. And any time that snake was in his terarrium, the boy was sure to press the lid closed until he heard a “snap”. One day, I went to get Snakey Baken some fresh water and was fully prepared for him to drop out of the bottom of his water bowl (where he loved to hide) then I could scream for no reason and pour him a fresh drink from the bathroom sink. Only, this time, he did not drop out. I looked underneath and, when I didn’t see him there, figured he was in the log. When I got back from the bathroom, I started to question the last time I saw Snakey Baken in the tank. I prepared to lift the log, scream for no reason when he wiggled, and place the log back down. Only, this time, he was not in the log. I pulled back the plastic plant, looked under the basking rock, man I looked everywhere. It was then that I had calculated that I had not seen Snakey Baken in three days. I retracted the last three days of Snakey Baken’s life and came to the conclusion that I had possibly been the last one to see him and change his water bowl. Within that conclusion, I began to question my thoroughness in closing his lid. I knew I had always closed it, but could not recall the “snap” sound that my son had always listened for. In fact, as I dwelled on it, I walked back over to the tank and saw that I had not closed it properly at this moment either. I fell to the ground. Not in the realization that I was the worst corn snake owner in the world, but just to see if I could catch up with S.B. on his expedition to anywhere. Alas, he was already three days ahead of me. The next few hours were bundles of fun: heater vents were removed, furniture was shuffled around, bedding was disheveled, laundry baskets were emptied. I spent the next day in Snakey Baken’s shoes (or belly bottom) slithering on the ground asking, “If I were a Snake, where would I go?” Do I really need to say it? Snakey Baken was a pleasure to have around for two whole months, but I did not close the the lid properly. It left a hole about the girth of my pinky finger and Snakey Baken found it, probably on day one. Never to be seen again. Dead nor alive.

The point of this story? It will haunt me the rest of my life. It will come up over every discussion of how to take care of a pet. Unfortunately for me, it will also come up over holiday get togethers, after a couple glasses of wine, and whenever I try to point out someone else’s failure to be responsible. You get it. It will go down in history as “the time that mom made a big deal about how one should care for a corn snake and then let the snake escape”! I’m not the only one who has an event in their life that will go down in the family file under “remember that one time?” I’m not done by any means…

To be continued…

Marthaaaaaaaaaaaaa

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2 responses to “Tale As Old As Time OR How Snakey Baken Touched Our Lives (10/7/11)

  1. Pingback: marthaaafish

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