The Great Escape


In honor of our snake Nagini being fed tonight I have chosen to write about her. She eats one defrosted large size mouse once a month, or more recently we switched her to one medium size mouse every three weeks because PetsMart was out of the big ones. Also since snakes are nocturnal they eat at night, I feed her around 10 or 11pm.

A little over a year ago, before we moved, is when Nagini came into our lives. Our old landlord did not allow us to have any animals of the furry variety. We were the first to ever inquire about a snake though. We got the idea because while browsing the wonderful world of Craig’s List Eric saw a guy in Dallas (an Oregon town nearby us) that was selling a 5 year-old ball python along with her terrarium, a heating pad, and all of the snake furniture (a log, water bowl, tree branch, heat lamp and wood chips) for cheap. The man we got her from already had three snakes of his own and was selling this one for a friend. The original owner was getting rid of the snake because he had a new live-in girlfriend who didn’t like snakes. I have learned though since we brought Nagini home that a lot of people are afraid or creeped out by snakes. The most common way that I have found people to hide their fear is to mask it with righteous concern. I think she has a pretty good snake life though. Sometimes she slithers on the floor, sometimes she balls up in my lap, and other times still I wear her around my shoulders like a feather boa. Plus she gets lots of down time with her needs all met.
The only problem was that we drive a VW Beetle so getting it all to fit in the car for the initial ride home was tricky. Just like we had already managed to stuff other pieces of furniture in the small car we managed to jam the snake in too. When we finally got home, and got Nagini situated, that’s when we picked out her name. See I’m a huge fan of Harry Potter and the snake was both a female and a ball python same as Lord Voldemort’s snake Nagini. So voila! We had our name picked out!

As you may have guessed the story I am going to write today is about Nagini getting out of her terrarium and scaring me half to death. It was one of those nights when Eric was at work so I was just chilling on my own on the couch, wrapped in a nest of plush blankets, with wine and popcorn, watching some stupid soap. I remember hearing a slight crash but at the time we lived on the bottom floor of an old building with no insulation, so you could pretty much hear everything your neighbors did all the time. I just kept sipping my wine and watching my stories until a few minutes later a large bang undoubtedly came from the back room, or as we called it the snake room. I set my wine down on the coffee table next to the popcorn bowl, pushed my nest aside and rolled my eyes as I got up.
“Uch this ought a be good,” and I trudged into the snake room. I flicked on the lights as I opened the door and my heart sank. The lid was askew and Nagini was gone.
I quickly shut the door behind me, dashed over to the recliner near her terrarium and dropped to my knees. I’ve always had this huge illogical fear that Nagini will one day get inside a piece of furniture, get stuck and die there. So I tugged the pink blanket off and shook it, no snake. I pulled all the pads of the chair, no snake. I lifted the foot rest, no snake.

I could feel the panic attack setting in so I rocked back to my knees, closed my eyes, and took a few deep breaths. Okay, she only recently got out so she couldn’t be far. I opened my eyes and saw the clue I needed. These two plastic beer-steins that Eric and I had gotten at the Kentucky state fair a few years ago were laying on the ground. How did that happen, they had been on the top shelf of the tall black leaning book shelf that was against the wall in the corner, between the terrarium and the recliner.
My eyes shot upwards and sure enough I could see Nagini in place of the cups, spread out along the top shelf. I then noticed she had knocked some books down and began to laugh. I sprang up to my feet as quickly as I could and just kinda looked at her in awe. I still don’t know how she managed to get all the way up there. I grabbed Nagini off the top shelf and sat down on the recliner with her. I could tell she was nervous so I stroked her scales until her heart beat went back down, and then I gently placed her back in her box and went back to my stories. It had been a stressful series of events and I was in need of my wine.


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