23

Snakes are easy pets.  They eat infrequently, and their poop, while nasty, also occurs infrequently.  They require water and special lights on a timer, and a good secure, escape-proof cage.  They appreciate a place to hide, a log to bask on, and being left alone.  You do have to buy a particular kind of bark mulch, because some mulch has naturally occurring chemicals in it that is bad for snakes.  I am busy and unwilling to learn the details of which mulch, relying instead upon the packaging to show me a picture of a corn snake on the bag of mulch.  Once, after buying a bag of the appropriate mulch, I dumped it into the snake’s cage only to find that there was a baby snake in it.  Now I think of myself as an unsqueamish person, but a surprise snake made me scream.  I went and found the house-painter, who was way up a ladder outside and made him hold Basil while I figured out what to do with the stow-away.  The painter was not even politely happy about it.  In the end, we got him his own cage, and named him Moses because clearly he had been trying to lead his kind to freedom.  Moses was no bigger than a pencil, and very wild.  He looked very much like Basil, and for that matter the corn snake on the bag of mulch he came in.  No doubt he found his way there having escaped his cage.


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