Say hello to my little friend

After about six years of leading up to it, I finally got a snake. Yeah, I did. No, I did! Really.

Mom and I drove to the All-Ohio reptile Show in Columbus today, and I wandered around there for a while looking for carpet pythons. They were in much shorter supply than I’d expected. I only found three, all priced over $200. I asked if anyone knew of a vendor that had some. In this way, I bounced around to pretty much every vendor in the place, and saw some very cool snakes and other reptiles. There was a guy selling an alligator, and a guy selling a bunch of little turtles anywhere between one and two inches across (maybe less for a few of them). The snakes in the place ranged in size from a-few-inch hatchlings to some that were probably upwards of seven feet long. What I didn’t seem to find, though, was carpet pythons – other than the expensive ones. However, a lot of people knew someone or other who bred them, and one helpful woman said she’d look around and we’d trade some e-mails and I’d come back to a show in a month when her friend brought some. I started collecting e-mail addresses instead of looking to buy a snake. It annoyed me that we’d come 107 miles and were going to leave snakeless. But then, as I was talking to a dealer, he asked if I’d seen the baby carpet pythons (he pointed) over there. Indeed I hadn’t.

There were just three, all from the same clutch of eggs that had hatched just four days ago. The guy selling them let me hold them. He checked the sexes – all males. And, they were priced attractively at just $85. I realized I definitely ought to buy one of these. I also realized that my cage would be far too big for the snake at this stage of his life, and so I bought with him a 10-gallon terrarium. I paid, and traded handshakes and e-mail addresses with the guy who sold me him, and then we drove back home. (Incidentally, for all those of you who doubt whether I’ll get a license, I drove us there and back. And I only hit two other cars. I’m going to practice at stick-shift with Dad over the next few days, and I’ll take my licensing test a few days before leaving for Grinnell.)

I’ve now got the snake set up in the terrarium, in my room by the window. I haven’t named him yet; that’ll probably be a few days at least. He’ll eventually grow to somewhere between four and six feet. Here are some pictures.

As long as I’m uploading pictures, here’s a bunch more. By the way, I think you can click on all of these to see them bigger.

From when I first got to camp. I took a few pictures of what it looked like around there. This is one of them.

Shot of Boulder Lake, combined with a file photo of my newly-bought hat. I’d just found a feather for it.

A little guy.

Before kids got there, it sometimes got boring. A different guy named Chuck taught me how to get this far. The rest was too hard at the time, and he said he’d teach me later, but he never did.

Josh after a rough day of mosquitoes and sun.

Jag Lake, where we stayed on our training trip.

The guys from the training trip. Left to right: Alan, Bill, Scott, me, Jason, Josh, Ben, and Ryan.

Final day of training trips: a nearby group got “stealthed”, which is a different word for pranked. Since we were staying near the camp, some girls on Program Staff took a bunch of junk and left it at their camp, and they had to take it back. The girls took one of their canoes and replaced it with two kayaks, with shovels for paddles.

Bill’s trip, my first with kids. L-R: Bill, Charlie, Tyler, Ryan, Alex.

Alex’s trip. This is the Presque Isle Lake campsite, adorned by Oliver. Oliver has this story to tell: “I have this neighbor who’s so creepy. He has a pond in his yard, and sometimes he goes and catches tadpoles in it. And then he puts them on a circle and puts a nail through their head and spins them, and no matter where it lands, he says,” (Oliver uses a high, deranged voice here) “‘Tadpoles is the winner!’ One night I had a dream where he did that to me, and then he said, ‘Oliver is the winner!’” This didn’t define Oliver’s trip; it was just an interesting, macabre little story he told. Alex and I weren’t sure if he was making it up or not; he made some other stuff up.

Sunset on Presque Isle

Alex found a hollow rotting stump to make a chimney. Two amazed campers look on.

Fine trail cuisine.

On Alan’s trip, a doe crossed the river right in front of our canoes.

Sunset on Pallette Lake.

Tim’s trip. This kid’s name is Ben, but after he speared this crayfish with a stick, we strated calling him Grog instead. Respect.

Here I put to use the Creative Tarping skills that Scott taught me when I was on a trip with him. I didn’t bring my camera on that trip, unfortunately. It was the trip where we started a fire with a flint rock and a steel poop shovel. Under the tarp are Alec, Ryan, and Austin, and obscured is Sam. They’re all the kids on the trip who weren’t Grog.

Tim. Do you see the smiley face in the lifejacket tan?

Sports-bra style

These other two pictures are from after camp, at the krokay game I had with some Finneytown friends.

BJ, Rosie, Tara, and Aaron in the parking lot.

I just think this picture of BJ talking on his cellular and gesturing with a mallet is funny. Note also Matt, camouflaged in the left half of the picture in a green shirt.

That’s all. Go somewhere else now.

File under: snake, photos, Manito-wish, krokay, adventure

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You live a charmed life! Do you have a hibernation station for that cold blooded reptile during the long Iowa winter?

Perhaps you should have chosen an Alaskan malmute, or a siberian husky?





Most snake keepers just leave the temperature the same year-‘round. If they want the snake to breed they might lower it a little and then raise it again, but otherwise they don’t really need to hibernate, and it’s tricky.

A husky would produce in one day more than this pet’s weight in poop. This was one factor figuring prominently into why I wanted a snake, especially for college.




As Nick would say (Crow Duck Nick) – Don’t let you snake Hiss in Mrs Pitt’s Pitt. Your Mother has the tape if you want to know the rest of it. G.Pa

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What I want to know is what did you name the snake??? Surely he must have a name. I hope you did better than “Carpy” or “Pythy”, and certainly not “Grinney”.

I’ll be anxious to see him when we come through Grinnell in a couple of months!

Aunt E.


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