How Not to Babysit a Snake, plus an only slightly-related Merlin pic

When I was about 15 or 16 years old, I had a friend who worked in the mall near the apartment complex in which I lived. I can’t remember if she worked at the pet store or the record store, but I do remember that one day, she bought a ball python while she was at the mall working.

Since she still had some hours left in her workday, she asked me to babysit the snake for her. Hang out with a 4-foot ball python? Heck, yeah! So I took the snake home back to my apartment.

I had no knowledge of how to handle snakes. I had no snake accessories, no fish tank in which to keep it, no cage, just a snake.

It was a sweet thing, very well behaved, but I was a teenager with a short attention span and who really wants to actively monitor a snake for hours on end, anyway?

I put the snake in the bathtub. I believe that my thinking was, even if it escapes the tub, where is it going to go? The bathroom door was closed. The room was small, no windows.

Yeah, snake is in the tub. I left it unattended to…I have no idea. I might have been watching Gilligan’s Island. I went through this weird phase in which I watched Gilligan’s Island reruns every day.

I did eventually go back to check on the snake. I was just in time to see its tail ready to disappear into a hole in the bottom of the cabinet under the sink. Apparently, at snakes-eye view, there was an escape route. I don’t spend much time lying on the bathroom floor, so I had no idea it was there.

I tried to grab the tail, and it slipped out of my hand.

I don’t remember if I called the maintenance man or I called my mom and she called the maintenance man, but he did arrive. He had to bust open the floor of the cabinet to get the snake out. I got the snake back, unharmed, and my friend picked up her snake later. I have not been asked to snakesit since.

Now, to make this a fully 100% reptile-themed post, please enjoy this fantastic picture of Merlin on a car ride. Photo credit: the girl.

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A Hat for the Mer

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Merlin has a hat! I made it for him out of black duck tape and a piece of yarn. I got the idea from pictures of bearded dragons in hats that I saw on Pinterest.

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I kept having to put it back on because it fell off every time he turned his head.

And yes, he has a wonky finger. He broke it when he was younger and it’s pretty much useless now. We suspect that he climbed up a screen wall he used to have in his cage, and then either fell or tried to jump and that claw didn’t come out of the screen with the rest of them.

I’ll probably be back on the blog a little more soon. I’ve been crazy busy (not just with lizard hats) but it should subside. I have a bunch of posts for when I finally get this next paperback out, so that will be a fun time.

Lately

Hey, what’s up? I have pictures of things. Last week, the boy was at Boy Scout camp all week. The girl works all the time and the husband often takes evening naps. That left me with a crazy amount of alone time. Most of that was spent playing Skyrim (ESO online, which is not technically called Skyrim but I call it Skyrim anyway) and hanging out with the animals.

The in-house animal population currently consists of Sneaker the cat and Merlin, the girl’s bearded dragon. There’s also a fish (the Captain) but he’s in my daughter’s room, therefore not in a location to be good company.

I feel bad for Merlin. He hangs out in his cage and sleeps a lot. He really likes snuggles, and I think it makes him sad to be alone so much. Yes, a lizard enjoys snuggles. He curls up like a little, scaly cat, and falls asleep on a person or near a person. It’s pretty much adorable.

Not only does he like snuggles, he enjoys watching trees. I got him out one night to feed him and decided to give him a window seat.

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Then Sneaker came in and started nosing around his chair. She knew he was up there, so she didn’t want to actually jump up onto the chair. I got her a chair of her own and put her on it. This was the scene.

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They hung out in this way for about half an hour. It was strange and funny and made being almost alone a bit more tolerable.

Current writing status: making notes for a book/novella that I should not be writing at this moment because I have other, more important things to write. Writing is the most fun when I feel like I should be working on something else.