Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Baby snakes on the way! On purpose! SUHWEET!

Yeah, I know, it's been a while.  So much of a while, a lot has happened and I'm not sure how to encapsulate everything in one blog post, and thus, I have delayed said blog post.  Then I wonder--why am I stressing?  This is MY blog, not a paper for a class.  It's not like there's some content requirement or due date.  I get to write about what I want to write about--and end a clause with a preposition if I want to!  SO THERE.

School is out for summer, which means I've been at the barn practically nonstop already.  I has the horse crazies.


That's mah girl!  And her babies-to-be!
Thirteen fertile, one obvious dud.  SWEET!
That's right.  1) I have a pet snake.  On purpose.  2) I bred my pet snake.  On purpose.  3) I will soon have 13 baby snakes.  On purpose.  YES. 

I'm so excited I can hardly stand it.  I've had my corn snake Cleo since she was two weeks old and 10" long.  She's now 11 years old and almost exactly five feet long, and the last two years, she has laid a clutch of infertile eggs.  Realizing her breeding potential, hubby and I found a mate for her and bred the eager pair over our spring break.  The male, Dr. Zaius, now resides in hubby's classroom.  Cleo stayed in mine until egg laying was imminent.  

Cleo is a gentle, docile snake, and I use her in class for a multitude of topics and instructional purposes.  One of the first lessons I do with her is about examining attitudes and prejudices, myths versus realities, as so many people assume so much about snakes to the latter species great detriment.  She isn't venomous--only 10% of species are, and they are illegal in the pet trade (seriously, #1 question I get asked is "Is she poisonous?"--Do people really think I'd have a venomous snake in the classroom??).  She also doesn't bite and has never bitten anyone in the 11 years I've had her.  I tell my students, every other pet I own is far more likely to hurt you. Cute Mija kitty would like to scratch your face off, Floyd kitty will probably gouge claws into you when he jumps off your lap, Firefly will push past you, Trilogy will bust an ankle in a goofy moment.  Cleo?  Nothing.  Ever.  

I then extend the lesson to inviting the students to share their own personal myths vs. realities; those things so many assume about them that isn't true and their corrections.  I've gotten things like "People think I'm Mexican, but I'm Guatemalan;" "People think just because I'm Asian I get straight As;" "People think I'm a nerd because I wear glasses;" "People think I like pink because I'm a girl;" "People think I speak Spanish just because of my last name"--I could go on.  It's a fascinating reveal, every year.  And after a lesson like that, Cleo (and her ball python classmate Seymour) become true mascots of the classroom.

Cleo, head at the left, and her baby-daddy Dr. Zaius, right
I knew I had achieved the goal of dispelling myths when the same kids who would have yelped and "Ew!"ed their horror instead squealed with delight at pictures of baby corn snakes.
Like this one
The eggs should hatch at the end of July.  And yes, I'll be back with pictures of the babies here.  SO THERE.

I'll be back with a multitude of horsey-type updates and photos later.  Enjoy this serpentine one for now.  

1 comment:

  1. Very cool! I'm not a "snake person" but think they can make wonderful pets for educated people who know how to care for them.