Friday, June 22, 2012

Choose who you pet with care

My 6-year-old granddaughter was a lot more interested in petting the California King snake than I was when the kids from BYU's Monte L. Bean's Life Science Museum came to the local library.
She happily took a place in the long, long line of children waiting for a turn while I just tried to stand away where I didn't have to get too close.
She told me later it felt kinda dry.
"Not slimy and cold?" I asked her.
"No, grandma. That's not how they feel. You should try it!" she said, obviously curious as to why I didn't want to feel for myself.
Adell then told me California Kings eat rattlesnakes so they're GOOD snakes (an oxymoron, for sure). 
I didn't want to pet the tarantula either though the opportunity wasn't really presented. The girl walking the hairy spider around on her hand said if we upset "MJ" it would start rubbing some of its little furry legs together and fling hairs everywhere — hairs that disappear into the skin like splinters and itch like crazy.
Who would want that?
It was enough to see it go by on the hand of someone who could tolerate its creepy existence.
I've been to a lot of these kinds of wildlife shows and, y'know, never been tempted to push my way to the head of the line for a turn.
I think snakes are just no fun.
They slither. They're fast.
They flick their little tongues out in a wicked way.
They just have a shifty, unfriendly look from every angle.
Even when someone reassures me that "this one can't bite" and "this one isn't poisonous" I don't believe any of them are sweet.
Even the babies. My granddaughter nodded her head up and down when the presenter pointed out that baby rattlers are twice as deadly as an adult rattler even though they're small and have no rattles yet.
That was almost in the same sentence where she told us the ONLY poisonous snakes in Utah are the rattlesnakes. All the rest are OK.
So, umm, always check the back end of a local snake before you pick it up to give it a hug, right?

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