I offer this tip from first hand experience. They don't like it.
I have learned quite a bit about feeding snakes. And I have also learned quite a bit about snakes that have been fed. You should probably stop reading at this point.
Goodbye! Have a nice snake-free day!
(Elevator music here.....................)
You're still here aren't you.
Suit yourself but I will not be responsible for the violent illness you are about to experience. Please keep all arms and legs inside the ride until it comes to a complete stop.
Several years ago, being the demented homeschoolers we are and having a
Twenty bucks later we were picking ticks off a snake.
Yes, that's right dear reader. Did you realize not only dogs get big, fat disgusting ticks but so do snakes? Aren't snakes, in their own dear way, gross enough already?
Well, the answer to that silly query is no, they are not. They can, in fact, become much grosser for a variety of reasons.
We learned about snake ticks through vast internet searches. We always search endlessly about whatever new endeavor we embark upon so we may
never have to do actual housework or yardwork again be good and trusted guardians of anything we acquire. Upon discovering snake ticks we also learned how to remove them. You must inspect millions of snake scales while looking through a magnifying glass and checking for little black things attached under said scales. If you are cursed and reviled among women lucky, you will find them. You then use tweezers to pull them off. You must do this for a SNAKE'S comfort and health even though you might be tempted to let your best friend die of tick poisoning before combing through her entire body hunting for ticks.
The next adventure will be getting your snake to eat. Yes, snakes, just like everything else, must take in nourishment. Purina does not make snake food for you to put in a cute little bowl with your pet snake's name emblazoned on the side. (Our snake's name was "Max." My apologies to our wonderful HUMAN friend, Max. It was before we knew you. He was nothing like you. I have never even known you to have fleas, let alone ticks.)
Back to feeding your snake. Where snake food comes from is from rats. That's right. Rats give birth to other rats and, before they are fully grown, you feed those rats to your snake. So, you will have to go to the pet store to buy what they call "feeder" rats. You may feel somewhat squeamish about this but it is, after all, what snakes do: keep rodent populations down. But, occasionally, in the feeding process, problems arise. Some snakes can actually be fearful of live rodents running around their cage and so develop eating reluctance. They can even die if they wait too long to eat. You, therefore, as the pet owner, must take them to therapy where they will lie on very long, narrow couches and tell their therapist about how having ticks picked off of them has made them afraid of EVERYthing. The therapist will admonish you and then advise you to kill your snake's food before you offer it.
That's right. In order to become a qualified and caring snake owner, you may personally, with your own personage, in person, have to kill rats, or at least knock them out. This is simple, the websites all say. Simply grab them by the tail, give them a swing, and bop their heads against something hard. This will knock them out
kill them instantly. At that time, lay the soundly "sleeping" rat in the snake's cage and, if given ample privacy, he will consume them without terror to the rat or snake. They claim this is the most humane way rodents are eaten in captivity or in the wild. This seems to make sense and you hate and loathe your husband for ever bringing this stupid thing into the house appreciate the man you've married when he offers to take care of this unpleasant business.
Once your sleepy-time rat is safely ensconced inside your snake's cage, you may find your snake still won't eat. Eating is a very private snake activity, and just as we, as travelers, may experience that uncomfortable feeling of, how shall I say it, public bathroom reluctance, so, in the almost same way, your snake won't eat because then people might actually KNOW he eats and that would be so embarrassing. If this goes on too long, sometimes help is necessary. For your snake, this means using forceps to hold your peacefully dreaming rat, prying open the jaws of your snake, and forcing the issue, as it were. This may be unpleasant but will result in
severe trauma for women, children, rats, and snakes successful nourishment for your snake and establish you as a responsible pet owner.
Eventually, our snake began to eat on his own and we no longer had to resort to these draconian measures. But we also needed more rats. Thus, we purchased Jack and Jill. Jack was a pleasant fellow and became our pet. Jill, his brawling wife, chose never to make nice and bit me heartily the first day we brought her home. However, she was prolific. So much so that we sold her offspring back to the pet store on occasion. Rats give birth to LOTS of rats. She often had litters of 14 or more. Max could never keep up. Snakes typically eat only once every week or two. Consequently, Jack and Jill had separate bedrooms.
We came to be quite fond of Max. Love is perhaps too strong a word but we enjoyed his wrapping himself around our arms and moving, seemingly without effort, up our shoulders and around our throats. We tried not to take this personally and only disengaged him when we were in danger of blacking out. Bo was very good with him and "wore" him frequently around the house. The Wild Man was still too young for snake handling or charming (unless snakes are charmed by putting them in your mouth which he tried to do) but found Max's company fascinating. I came to like feeling Max draped over my shoulders and around the back of my neck as I sat typing at the keyboard. (Of course, people thought we were brave and clever
incredibly stupid and moronic and we may have lost friends we actually liked.)
And it was in one of these tender snake/owner moments between Max and me that I learned a cardinal rule about snakes: They must have time to digest.
Max had just finished a particularly successful feeding session a few hours earlier when I decided we should have some warm and fuzzy bonding time together. I had work to do at the computer and thought the company would be nice. I picked him up, everyone had a look and some touching and handling, and then I placed him in his favorite position draped lazily dangling around my neck. I took my seat. I wasn't typing very long when I felt him begin to move. This wasn't all that unusual as he wasn't always stationary. In fact, his moves frequently felt almost massage-like and I reveled in the relaxing effect taking place in my shoulder muscles. I smiled. His movements seemed to become more pronounced. More than I had felt before. He seemed to be lurching, in fact. I became
paralyzed and stricken dumb with the horrifying realization that this snake could hurl on me concerned.
screamed as though my underwear had suddenly become consumed in an all out conflagration called out. "I think Max is going to throw...............................up."
And at that moment, there for me to behold in all its slime covered rat glory, was our snake's breakfast - every last dead nose, feet, fur, and tail of him - laying on my lap in one whole and intact package.
There really aren't words to describe this particular situation. You can't move or the thing will slide down your legs, and you can't simply sit still with a dead, slimy rat in your lap and a retching snake around your neck. So you just continue to shout out, "Ewww, EWWWW, EWWWWWWWWW!!! while your husband dashes in and hoses down your underwear with the fire extinguisher. Eventually you know he will discover the truth and bring you a paper towel because HE sure as heck isn't grabbing that dead slimy thing off your lap.
Thus, when you are tempted to buy snakes, kill rats, and allow serpents to encircle your throat, refrain gentle reader. Oh, not from the purchase. Ownership is delightful as you can see. But do wait a proper period of say, thirty years or so, before holding your resplendent reptile after he has dined.
Don't say I didn't tell you so because I guarantee you: you heard it here first.
"I'm not about to go out and buy a snake for a pet. I mean, I may have faced a few fears but I'm not insane." Kristen Davis
*Photos are stock imges from the internet but are very like our snake.