Conversation with parent 2 minutes before the bell:
Me: Good morning, this is Mrs. Sewell....
Parent: Ashley, just to let you know my child is bringing in a snake that she caught over the weekend. She has it in a container.
Me: Uhhhh...okay. How secure is the container?
Parent: Secure. I just thought I would give you a heads up.
Me: ****silent thought to myself: "deep breath, deep breath...@!!#@****
So here comes my little "friend" (that's the name for all my students) as happy as she can be! (Yes, one of my GIRLS caught this snake!!) I look at the little thing and shout "Dear Lord! Is that a RATTLE SNAKE!!???" She says, "Oh no Mrs. Sewell. It's a Bull Snake."
Our day goes on....Our snake seems content in his little plastic container chillin' out with his uneaten legless cricket friend (snack) who continues to twitch when I walk by. (gross) Here's the kicker and where people think I'm just being "soooo cool." Actually, this is where I'm a COMPLETE sucker! Or, I need to talk to my Dr. about my current medication working TOO well..(is THAT even possible?) I look into this precious child's eyes as she tells me that her mom and dad said NO WAY to the snake staying with them. In fact, the mother wouldn't even let her bring it in the house! (Gasp!!!) In this moment of weakness is where I say, "Ohhhh well, I guess we can keep him here. We have a great animal program so I'm sure we can get him a SECURE container. But, under NO circumstances will I touch, feed, or love on that thing. YOU will take care of him." Of course she promises to be totally responsible for our new pet...then I watch her float off on cloud 9....
****Flashback: Remember when you were a kid and you begged and pleaded for a puppy? You SWORE that you would take care of it, love it, walk it, play with it, oh and pick up it's poop. Yah, what happened 2 weeks later? Uh huh...you get where I'm headed with this. I fell for the OLDEST trick in the book...the promise to take care of a pet ;)*****
Well, "Sandstorm" is the newest addition to my classroom. I didn't discuss this living arrangement with my current salamander, Striper. Nor did I consult with the 2 box turtles, Leonardo and Michelangelo. (remind me to tell you a story about the 2 "easy" turtles I was suckered into this year as well....I'm seeing a pattern here) But after a current background check on this Bull Snake I made some startling discoveries that are SURE to terrify my current pets:
Bull Snake Background Check Results:
- one of the most temperamental snakes of their kind..they are known for their "bad attitudes"
- they will exceed (yes, I said exceed) 6 feet LONG..making them one of the largest snakes in the US
- eat small mammals (like a kitten) and oh....baby snakes. We should have named him "Jeffery"
- it also cross dresses as a rattlesnake and likes to IMITATE them too ;)
Thank you for all the HILARIOUS comments on my facebook! I'll keep you updated on the Wild Kingdom that I call "my classroom"....