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Snake Love

We found this snake.

Sunning itself on the rocks of our driveway, just beside a black raspberry bush. It was the biggest garter snake I’ve ever seen. So cool! (For those of use who love snakes, of course, which is all of us in my family. I realize not all of you share that love.)

Of course, we had to try to catch it so we could see it up close. You know how that is, right? (It’s science! Biology. Zoology. Herpetology! The world is our classroom, you know.) Wait. Where was I? Oh, catching it. Right. Well, the first day it slithered away before our amazed eyes. But persistence runs strong in my kids and they checked back hourly daily until they were able to hold it in their hands.

And then, of course, everyone needed a turn.

Except Ebba, which she was totally okay with because she was right in the middle of things the whole time. But I was worried that she might hold it a little too enthusiastically, shall we say, the same way she pets grasshoppers or toads with a little too much oomph for their size. It’s all love, but still. That kind of love can hurt.

Plus, I’m pretty sure we had caught ourselves a pregnant mama. See how her belly thickens near Riley’s right hand there? It was very noticeable when we first saw her–how thick she was in the middle. I’d never seen a garter snake so wide. So, since it seemed we were possibly holding many lives in our hands, I wanted to make sure we were extra gentle in our handling.

We were. She was let go back over by our garage where we’d found her, hopefully not too stressed out by all the love and attention she got. Though I think she’s decided her original spot there *may not* be the best place to sun anymore. (You know, with the risk of being loved and adored by children.) We haven’t seen any sign of her (or her babies) since.

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