Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bag o'snake

It’s funny the kinds of things kids bring home from school.

Sure, you get the standard stuff like the day’s take of drawings and paintings. Sometimes you’ll find another child’s pen or brush or stuffed animal. And believe me, your typical five-year-old comes home daily with all manner of new and interesting germs to infect your upper respiratory system.

But on this particular day in early June, I was a bit surprised to see this particular five-year-old bring home a small plastic ziplock baggie from school. It was smaller than sandwich size, about the size some of you would use to carry your "herb" on your way to one of your hippie drum circles.

But there wasn't any Aunt Mary in the baggie (dammit!). Rather, the sole contents consisted of about the first four inches of a snake.

No, not that kind of snake. I'm talking about the kind that crawl around on their bellies scaring the crap out of people.

Still not right. Think of the same level of creepiness but more natural. You know, the kind of snake that eats rodents and air travelers.

That's right. Except luckily, the snake we're talking about wasn't that big or poisonous.

It was a small grass snake, the head and about three and a half inches of snake jerky apparently chopped off of the rest of the reptile by a lawn mower blade.

I didn't get a photograph (I know you're bummed), but here's an artist's rendering:
Those of you who have been parents for a while know that now is the time when you have to put up a calm front to avoid freaking out the kid while you wonder if you have a budding Ozzy Osbourne on your hands.

"Hey, whatcha got in the bag?" I asked.

"I found it at school! I'm the only one who got one," came the excited reply. "I found it in the grass in the play area and my teachers said I could bring it home."

Ah, gotta love those teachers.

"So, what are you going to do with it," I asked, totally not concerned in the least.

"I'm going to cut it open to see what's on the inside. Can you help me?"

"I, uh, well, er..."

"I'll need some of those plastic gloves. You know? Those gloves? Do we have any of those gloves? We'll need them before we cut it open. And we should probably wear mask over our mouths, too."

She was very mater of fact and clinical about the whole idea. She was eager and curious to see the actual interior workings of your every day, garden variety grass snake.

Unfortunately, the baggie with snake therein found it's way to the trash can before we could acquire the instruments necessary for the postmortem.

She was, of course, disappointed. She really wanted to see the inside of the snake. But the disappointment was soon overcome by the next episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, and anyway we were having quesadillas for dinner which is one of her favorite meals.

Still, my Supermodel Wife and I had debated whether our daughter was too young to see the Bodies Revealed exhibition at Union Station and decided that she probably was. Now, maybe it's time to revisit that debate.

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  1. sounds like you have a budding, and tougher than me, scientist on your hands. Cant wait for the post after you get her that first chemistry set. Do they still sell those? Other than in Independance.
    Great post.

  2. Is your daughter's name Quincy?

  3. Dude, you posted pictures of your wife's chopped up finger. And you couldn't help your kid cut open a snake to see what was inside? What's wrong with you?


    Wait...then again, you probably would have managed to find your camera after taking the time to cut open the snake, and then you definitely would have shared that with us as well.

    So I'm ok with the trashing of the snake head and shoulders after all, I s'pose.

  4. nothing like a teacher with a sense of humor

  5. This post does not meet
    blog post requirements.

    Please remove it immediately.

  6. My daughter was the same way at 5, now at 8, she is a bit shy around snakes. Something about learning what a poisonous one can do to you. She is quite the reader, and found one of my desert survival manuals that was issued to me in service. The do not censor the pics of what the venom will do to you. She was not sickened of it, just a bit paranoid now. She loved the
    exhibit .

    Every kid is different though.

    Crazy kids.

  7. Someone is posting on other blogs as myself. That was not my comment.

  8. red actual, they posted a similar comment on my blog yesterday as well. Just an FYI.

  9. Priceless! You've got a keeper with the five year old.


  10. I smell med school in your future. Better start saving now...


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