We found this critter just a few days ago, in the embers of a bonfire we’d made the day prior. Sadly, it wasn’t alive, but our always-inside-out-&-backwards-shirt-wearing (and pants) Little Guy claimed it as his own and carried it around (outdoors) for
a day 3 days. Yuck, yes, but you know how it goes: “It’s educational,” someone says, and that always sways me.
It’s a baby snake
(Dead, yes. I said that already, but I know you needed to ask. We must be absolutely sure).
I’m sure there are many of you who really wish you hadn’t just seen that, but honestly, you really need to just stop and thank me for a moment for not posting the much more photographically excellent shot of the baby snake smack dab next to Little Guy’s left cheek…oh, and the ones of it being dangled by its tail in front of Little Guy’s face to the right, then the left, then the right were great shots, too.
Just for you, I went with the lower-quality photo of the snake farther away.
A moment of transparency: I don’t like snakes, either, not one bit. I mean, I like to know they are on Planet Earth and I know their value. But I have an irrational phobia of them that I’ll blame on brothers and brothers’ friends who threw dead snakes at girls. In my memory-exaggeration, I remember it as happening dozens upon dozens of times with increasingly larger snakes. But I’ll bet it only happened twice. Or once. With the teeniest garter snake ever. I also have an irrational phobia of touching frogs, toads, and worms. I know. What does a worm hurt? But there it is. My phobias are exposed. I’m not sure I can blame my brothers for all of them. I do have a crazy imagination.
Nevertheless, phobias need to s.t.o.p. right here. With me. Instead of passing on my irrational phobias to the children (too easy to do), I make a conscious decision to give them the facts, not my fears. Now when I see something scary like that baby snake in the ashes, for example, I first of all (to be honest) shake in my shoes and feel a scream coming on, but then I say casually, as if I’m soooo not afraid of that little thing, “Hey, guys. Look. A snake. Oh, yawn. Which one do you think it is?” While we’re chatting, I’m backing up from it, to, uh, give them room to study it, of course. We’ve already studied the facts about snakes in our area, so the children have learned what precautions to make but they aren’t full of irrational fears. That’s what I mean about teaching the kids the facts, not my fears. They just don’t need to be so nervous like me.
We’ll save touching worms, frogs, and toads for another day when we’re discussing phobias. Right now, I need to go read a bit more of Jane Austen’s Emma to clear my mind of snakes before I head to bed or I’ll never sleep tonight.