There are some very strange snake-related stories on the net so I thought I'd add a few, but ones I can vouch for.



A story I know to be true - the "I" in this story is me!

(and my wife did forgive me eventually)

At work it's my job to supervise the trainees. One day, many years ago, one of them told me about his friend who had bought a python. Naturally I was interested and asked about it. My trainee went away and found out that the snake was a "sand python".

Apparently "they are like sand boas, only pythons" according to the man in the shop. Now it was common knowledge that I kept sand boas, and yes, I had confirmed that they don't get much over half a metre long at most. Here's a five year old in my hand.

But I'd never heard of "sand pythons" so I went to have a look.

O.K. - it was a python, I'll grant you that. Now, I don't pretend to be an expert, but where I come from we don't call them "sand pythons", we call them "Burmese pythons".

Would you believe that the unscrupulous shopkeeper had got his hands on a job lot of baby albino burmese pythons and, having found that nobody wanted a twenty foot monster snake, unloaded the lot by persuading a trusting public that they'd only get to half a metre long. The pet shop closed very shortly after that.

But that was only the beginning as far as I was concerned

At the time my wife had banned me from getting burmese pythons because they get so big. Shortly after the above episode I was in our local herp shop holding a small burmese and joking with the shopkeeper about "sand pythons".

When my wife came into the shop we explained to her about "sand pythons" and I asked if I could buy the snake. However she hadn't really been listening and only heard the bit about "sand pythons" being small snakes. She was quite happy for me to get the snake. I was so glad she'd changed her mind, and was ecstatic about getting a burmese python. I thought she knew what was going on. I really did. Everyone was happy for a week until I next went to the herp shop. They asked after my burmese. Before I could say anything the nice lady said that I didn't have a burmese python; I had royals, childrens, carpets and "sand pythons".

I honestly thought she knew about "sand pythons". Oh we did laugh. (!)


And one, which is rather scary. Which again, is from me.

About an hour's drive from me is a garden centre with a pet shop. Over the years it's become known as a centre of excellence for reptile keeping, and they offfer to provide homes for reptiles. I'd wanted to go for a long time, and as soon as we got a car it was one of the first places we visited. They've got all sorts of snakes, loads of iguanas, and even an alligator.

In one of the vivaria they had three very attractive albino burmese pythons. I was watching these snakes when I realised that the keepers were about to do something with them. A big fat woman opened a large door at the back of the snakes enclosure, reached in with a broom handle, savagely cracked one of the snakes three times on the back with the broom handle and then closed the door.

I couldn't beleive my eyes, and asked what she did that for. She told me that it's a good idea to hit large pythons regularly. It teaches them to respect the keepers.

The sad thing is that when I reported this to the R.S.P.C.A. they told me that I was lying, and that the garden centre in question knows what they are doing. The R.S.P.C.A. told me that they take unwanted reptiles there, and how dare I say such nasty things about them.



A tale from Joshua:

Dear Mr. Dave, this is the story of my older cousin (and how dumb he really is).

One day not to long ago my cousin Rick decided he wanted a snake (after seeing mine). So he asked his mother she said yes but on one condition it had to be "tame and pretty" so they get to this "breeder of snakes" he says all of his snakes are "tame and pretty". Rick buys into this and picks out a beautiful striped snake he wants it, but just then his mother raises the bar and says it must be rare OR NO PET SNAKE!! Hearing this the "Breeder" says this snake is one of the rarest types in the world. She buys it literally $120 poof! She also buys a book about Boas not to mention another smaller snake $60 and thought her snake was a "Black Banded Boa". Hearing this I wonder if there is a such thing so go over and take a look "Sorry auntie but that's a California King snake." I say. Refusing my judgment she kicks me out.

Later (one week) Rick is crying to me on the phone saying the snakes were fighting. I rush over on my bike when I get there I see the King snake eating the other smaller snake (a Rat snake). My aunt gets home right in time to see the king snake finish its meal. "AAAHHHH!!! What happened?" she asked.



Got any experiences of your own you'd like to share ?