Today I got to hold a snake.
My son and I went back into the school after classes were out to retrieve his backpack from his locker. His animal science classroom was quite close, and his teacher happened to be nearby. Gordon asked him if I could go and hold a snake; his teacher said that we could hold the snake Gordon was in charge of caring for, but none of the other kids’ critters.
(A moment later he turned back and added, “But don’t force your mom if she doesn’t want to, just let her try it.” I guess he’s used to moms who don’t want to hold snakes.)
So we went into the classroom, and my son deftly reached in and plucked out a lovely milk snake. His name, I was informed proudly, was Ruby. Ruby had just shed his skin, and was gleaming and lively. He was apparently quite used to being handled, and didn’t seem at all afraid as he was deposited into my open hands. He hitched a loop of himself comfortably around my wrist and investigated his surroundings with interest. He had the sweetest little black face.
My son took a turn holding him, and Ruby was equally placid as he strolled about the room, occasionally forgetting the snake in his hand and gesturing with it. This did not seem to bother Ruby in the slightest. Then I got another turn; Ruby was feeling a bit friskier and travelled up my arm to poke his head into my sleeve.
It was a bit difficult at first to figure out how to hold him, as I’m used to animals with a more compact center of mass. But Ruby himself had no trouble getting settled. It was rather odd plucking up several coils of reptile, and feeling them gently grip my hand and arm. He seemed quite a pleasant animal. I wonder if all snakes are this amiable.