"The Bug Boy"
THE GOPHER SNAKE
When Greg was seven, he and his brother Scott found a very large gopher snake in the hills behind our house in Moraga, CA. True to the actions of all small boys, they decided to bring the beast home. It was smelly and big, but fortunately non-poisonous. It was at least six feet long and ten inches around. I agreed to let them put it in a cage and keep it temporarily, but they had to find it something to eat.
Greg took the snake out for walks and draped it around his neck to show all the kids on the block that he wasn’t afraid of the dangerous predator. He bought a little white mouse at the pet store for the snake to dine on, however the mouse just cruised around the cage freely while the snake ignored it.
The huge snake gave Greg a lot of clout with the smaller crowd for a few weeks, but at the end of the month it had still not eaten the mouse, so I insisted the boys return it to the hills where they found it. Despite numerous cries of protest, the snake was finally taken back to its home in the tall, dry, grass of the hillside.
To Greg’s great disappointment, it was never seen again. The little white mouse, however, remained for quite a while, eating normal mouse pellets, and somewhat alleviating the loss of the “beloved” gopher snake.
©2009 Joan Virden - all right reserved.