DQ Blog

Why I Love Montana: Reason #167

     June 21, 2018

     Speaking of snakes. But this snake story (unlike the last one, see under DQ Blog, "The Latest Is Late") doesn't involve a thirteen-foot African rock python, spotted underfoot in the grass of a Mozambique savanna.  This one is about a modest little four-foot ball python who needed a home in Bozeman, Montana.  Bozeman is not a good place to be a tropical snake living on the street.  So, a rescue.

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     It happened like this.  One day about three weeks ago my wife Betsy, aka Zoo Girl, came downstairs and said: "Don't get mad at me, but I've just adopted a python."  I said: "Which species?"  That's collaborative decision-making in our household.  The answer was Python regius, sometimes called the royal python, less grandly the ball python, for the defensive tactic of curling itself into a ball.  Betsy hadn't precisely adopted it, not yet, but she'd committed to do so.  Next day we went to pick the snake up, from the household of some nice people whose teenage boys were leaving the nest, and so it was time for their python to leave too.  He was about ten years old, and he had aged out.  His terrarium and a heat lamp and some leftover frozen guinea pigs were part of the deal.  His name, they told us, was Zeus.  Betsy and I decided to rename him, but preferably to something that might sound familiar to his ears.  (Okay, strictly speaking, snakes don't have ears.  But they can detect sonic vibrations through their jaw bones.)  Betsy suggested the new name: Boots.  Obviously perfect, nice going, I said.

     So Boots came to live with us, his 55-gallon tank taking its place in the best available spot: my office.  I became a ten-year-old boy again (so says Zoo Girl), making trips to Petco for more heat lamps and thermometers and a hygrometer and spray bottles and other knicknacks to make Boots comfortable.  I had had many captive snakes when I was a kid—garter snakes, milk snakes, an indigo snake,

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