Dogs = good.
Snakes = bad.
The other day, our Evangelical Christian neighbors were out walking their dogs.
“Do you ever find any ssserpentsss in your field?” the woman asked.
The way Jim tells it, she hissed the word serpents. “As if she couldn’t stand the thought of snakes,” he says, and then he wiggles his shoulders in mock shudder.
Snakes can be scary. Especially poisonous snakes.
But Baby… well, Baby is a baby. Not in terms of her age, just her disposition.
She is, we’re told, old for a bullsnake. Almost 30.
The story goes: the previous owner of the place was driving down a dirt road on Indian land near the Arizona – New Mexico border. A baby snake went slithering across the road; the jeep barely missed it. The guy jumped out, caught the snake, and brought it home in a coffee can.
He built a six-foot-long, two-level cage in an enclosed potting shed next to the house. One whole wall of the cage is a south-facing window.
The day we did our walk-through inspection, the guy asked us if we’d like to keep her. We had dogs, chickens, ducks, and turkeys. Why not a snake?
Indeed. Why not a snake?
She’s about eight feet long. Maybe longer. She’s alert, especially when she’s hungry. She’ll come up to where you’re standing and see what you have for her. Or maybe she thinks you’re the food.
Jim feeds her a rat, a big one, every three to four weeks. She usually eats it in a matter of minutes. I can’t watch. Once the rat screamed.