“Mom, is it okay if I bring Wags home?”
“Who is Wags?”
“The fraternity snake. I have to take care of it during winter break.”
“Yeah… Um… Okay.”
Well, I didn’t really have a fear of snakes but I sure didn’t like them. For a moment there, I regretted saying yes. I remembered the story of my nephew’s snake escaping from the cage and finally found months later in the linen closet.
Oh my gosh. I hadn’t really thought this thing through. What if the snake got out and slithered in bed with me? The more I thought about it, the more I started to freak out. Maybe I really did have a fear of snakes. But it was too late, my son was on his way home with the snake. I wasn’t sure if I could sleep at night if a snake was running loose in the house. We’ve had a cat, a dog, two hamsters, and a bird all at different times in my kids’ lives, what was one more pet–and only temporary, right?
Hey, at least it wasn’t an alligator. Now THAT would be an instant no.
My first introduction to Wags was at a distance at first.
“What kind of snake is he?” I asked.
“A Ball Python.”
A python?? I gulped. That sounds… Deadly. Dangerous. Scary.
“He’s very friendly,” my son explained. “He doesn’t bite.”
The next thing I knew, I was holding the snake. I was surprised at the texture and feel. Wags didn’t move, he merely sat still. His black, beady eyes took it all in. Surprised at my own courage, I ran a finger down his back. He still didn’t move. It was almost as if he sensed I needed to get comfortable with him at first. There’s something to be said for facing the things that scare you. In this case, I discovered my nervousness started to go away the more I handled the snake. But still, deep down, there was still some apprehension.
So naturally, I had to get on Google and find out more about Ball Pythons. There was no way I could relax if I thought the snake was dangerous in any way. Turns out that Ball Pythons are a very docile snake when bred in captivity and they are one of the most popular pet snakes. They are shy and rarely do bite unless threatened, and most likely they would curl up in a tight ball instead.
Wags settled in well. He sat curled up in laps as we watched movies. He especially loved hanging around my son’s neck. One morning, my son put Wags around my neck. The snake hung there content as I pounded away at the keyboard.
Feeding time was not fun, as it required a live, female mouse. I had to make my son swear not to let that mouse out of sight, because there was no way I could sleep at night if that mouse got loose.
And sure enough, Wags got out of the cage one night. Thankfully, we found him under my son’s bed, not mine.