Wednesday, November 10, 2021 (November’s fullest moon [“Beaver”] rises on the 19th.)

There appeared before my cash register a young woman holding her pet snake. Now, we check-out types see lots of pets and enjoy them, but that was our first time for saying hi to a snake.

That snake’s person seemed one who might prefer having an unusual pet. I thought she’d be stand-off and remote, but she instead was articulate and friendly, loved talking about “Charcoal”, her snake. She said her relationship with him began after she lost a beloved pet hedgehog to old age. She went searching for another hedgehog, winding up at the local reptile shop and learning about Charcoal.

That shop sells reptiles, snakes, turtles, and such. Its owner is a very knowledgeable guy, who last summer explained how I should feed a rescued tiny Robin until it could be fledged.

In his shop I was fascinated by reptiles of many species, some I knew as very frightening and others I knew as docile and sweet. My visit happened at snake-feeding time. There were various sorts and sizes out of cages, stretched on floors, receiving meals. I left that shop wondering, if by not having explored reptiles as pets, I’d missed a boat.

Charcoal is about three years old, has lived a year with his person, could live on to around age twenty. He’s an endangered species from Florida wetlands, and an unusually-small version of his type. (Forgive me for having left notes about his exact variety in my locker, I’ll tag that information later onto this blog.)

His person explains that he’s very gentle, friendly, and well-behaved. We at the registers who didn’t feel intimidated by snakes handled him. His skin felt warm, slightly bumpy, and seemed very much like feeling a high-couture, ultra-expansive snakeskin boot or handbag. His sensing tongue works constantly and not threateningly.

Hey, reptile people, I get it!

In my personal journey, now isn’t appropriate for seeking new pets. But I am planning to visit again that reptile shop. My mind won’t be focused on caring for a needy bird, but on wishing to see, learn, and more enjoy the fascinating world of reptiles.

It’s fun to work in an animal feed store, where many kindred spirits shop.

Dear Friends: For experiences we tend to bypass, it’s well to pause, look, and learn to appreciate. Diana

4 thoughts on “Charcoal

  1. “He’s an endangered species from Florida wetlands, and an unusually-small version of his type.”

    That seems concerning. It’s illegal to keep endangered species as pets (exceptions for licensed wildlife rehab folks), and criminal to deal/trade in endangered species. I’m hoping your young friend with the snake is mistaken about their pet snake (maybe it’s a very rare color morph?)…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have met the local reptile seller and trust his professional experience, knowledge, and integrity. I will explore more with him, and with Charcoal’s person when next they’re in the store. What might support Charcoal’s adoptive status (which through ignorance I didn’t mention in the blog) is his chronic health condition–life-threatening unless controlled by medication. The owner was purchasing hypodermic needles for Charcoal’s routine injections, and to satisfy my curiosity, ruffled slightly his head, lifting scales to display the injection point. I understand that Charcoal’s breed typically becomes very long, and large. He’s very small, only several feet long, won’t grow more because of his health condition. I know well the veterinarian who diagnoses and treats Charcoal. She’s very experienced, personally keeps reptile pets, and her popular clinic treats exotic pet patients. I appreciate your comment, and apologize for not having written more about Charcoal. I will follow up, and probably learn that Charcoal’s health condition allows his legal adoption. Otherwise, he’d not be alive and thriving at three years old.


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