I just got back from a walk with Jason. On the way, I picked a snake up from the road. It seemed stunned when I found it, as if it had just been run over (an SUV had drive past a couple minutes earlier). I haven't examined it closely, but it seems to have a broken spine a couple inches up from the base of its tail.
It's a small snake, maybe a foot long, and actually rather pretty: dark brownish with two thin yellowish stripes down the side of its body. I'm glad I was wearing my gloves, though, because it stinks vaguely of cat shit.
Jason said that Maren is obsessed with snakes and death and things of that sort. "She's a four-year-old goth," I told him. "I'm going to patch up this snake and give it to her."
I don't know if this snake can be patched up, though. It rested in my hands for most of the walk, but toward the end it became active, trying to slither away. I suppose I ought to let it free for nature to do as nature will, but I sort of miss having a snake. (We had Sanderling, Kris' childhood snake, for a decade before it died about five years ago.) Snakes are rather unresponsive pets, but they're fun. They're exotic. Kids love them.
Toto loved Sanderling. We kept him in a glass aquarium with a wire screen for a lid. Toto would perch on the wire screen for hours, staring down at the snake, watching him crawl around. Sometimes she would try to grab the snake through the glass. She never succeeded. I'll bet Nemo would love to see a snake.
I've placed my new snake in a bucket on the back porch and covered it with grass. If it has not escaped by the time I leave for home, I'll try to transport it in the car. I wonder if we still have that old pink plastic animal carrier at home. The snake has to have someplace to live.
And what would one feed a snake this small? Sanderling was large enough to consume small rodents, which was always a gruesome sight, but I suppose this sort of snake eats crickets and the like.
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