Thursday, January 12, 2012

Frisky the Cornsnake

“Snake!” she whispered, pointing with her shaking free hand to a darkened corner of the cabin. Rand dropped his bag and fetched the lamp and the broom. When he raised the lamp and peered into the corner, there was a faint susurrus—a sound like sand falling on the floor. He looked closer, set down the lamp and broom and said, “C’mon outta there, fella.” He crouched down and waved his fingers in front of the snake, and when it coiled to leap he grabbed it behind its head. The snake wrapped itself around his arm and gave it a good squeeze, but Rand didn’t let go of the snake’s head.
 He straightened and turned to Julia, the snake clinging to his arm, tongue darting in and out in agitation.
“This ain’t nothin’ but a corn snake, darlin’. He’s likely more scared of you than you are of him.” He held the snake up, admiring the red, gold, and brown stripes and chevrons patterning the reptile’s body as the snake squirmed in Rand’s grasp. “This is a frisky one too. Bet he could help with those rats in the corn field. C’mon, fella, let’s put you to work out back.”
Smuggler's Bride

Frisky the cornsnake has been a part of our lives for 20 years, but she's gone to a better place.  No, not that big cornfield in the sky, but a middle school science class.  Frisky is my eldest son's pet, and we've had her for 20 years.  She's been my responsibility for the past 10 years because my son went to college, then life, and has neatly managed to avoid coming home in a car.  And as he reminds me, everyone knows you can't take snakes on a plane.

So I put out the word that I've finally accepted the snake is not moving on with my son, and I'd like to find her a good home.  I was particularly looking for a middle school environment.  Elementary school children are too young, and high schools have more specialized classes, but middle school seemed just right.  And so it was.  Now Frisky is a much admired resident of Mr. Perez's science class at a middle school in Newberry, Florida.  Frisky's a Florida native, which led to her cameo in Smuggler's Bride.  You can read more about Florida's native wildlife, and how to cook some of it, in Smuggler's Bride.  In the meantime, I'm going to miss Frisky (a little), but I'm glad she's found a good home.

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