Ouroboros, tail devourer

My first inspiring experience with snakes was in high school. I was volunteering for a park program called Scales & Tales, which traveled throughout the community introducing people to native reptiles & birds of prey – face to face. We went to summer camps and the state fair handling animals so that people could learn more about their message. We learned a lot in the process. It was wonder-full! By fostering positive encounters with the animals themselves, we helped people understand that humans can co-exist with wildlife in a healthy manner. This is a much-needed program, and I would pass on the knowledge gained here again and again over the years.

For instance, at the trail-head for Maryland Heights one day, I came across a man jumping up & down and dancing like a monkey all over! He was warding his wife and little girl away from something by the trail, while grabbing stones to hurdle towards it. Now I thought everyone knew that there is no creature in the woods of Maryland that warrants this type of reaction. These techniques may have sufficed in the time of the caveman, but nowadays we should know better! I walked right up to diffuse the situation and found a garter snake hastily climbing the hill. Just like that, crisis was diverted: man and his family went on their way in peace, and so did the snake – Shu!

Just look at the way his tongue flickers! How cute!?

Tonight, as you can see above, Ory has digested last week\’s dinner enough to come out and play. Actually, what we do is more like hanging out. At least, he hangs. Often, I stand. But that is only a technicality. While he hugs my neck, I take the opportunity to clean the tank a bit. We waltz into the bathroom to refill the water bowl. Upon return I stop…

I offer him the bowl.

Poised over the water, Ouroboros\’ nose takes a dive, and without breaking surface tension his jowls swallow like the waves do roll. He slurps down a delightful drink; it was such a precious moment! Now he is back at home under his log and we are playing a breakout game of peek-a-boo!

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