My take on the snake

Connor's and Noah's patio art 2013

Connor’s and Noah’s patio art 2013

There are no words to express the pain that comes along with such awful news. They were innocent little boys and certainly didn’t deserve to have their lives cut short in such a tragic way.

The mom, Mandy, is my daughter Leigha’s best friend. An amazing single mom who gave all that she could to these little boys. The snake owner, JC, is a nice man who kept these reptiles as a zoo and then part of the building was used as a pet shop.

My one and only thought  when I first saw the huge snake was that it shouldn’t live where it did. That was about a year or more ago. The enclosure, deemed as safe by the owners I assume, was a special room and the animal was kept under key. It’s not just that living with such a big reptile may be creepy, it’s that the animal itself should be sitting in the wild doing what it normally does – not sitting there breathing and waiting to be fed without sunlight or company of its own species. I mean they do reproduce and some of them even protect their eggs – they have a certain level of intelligence. But this is what we do, us humans. The worst part of it is that we know when things are not quite right but we still just leave it at that.

In the basement, there were also crocodiles. They were huge. They had their own enclosure and were well kept. Still, it was a limited enclosure and although they hadn’t seen different (they must have been babies when it all started), how is it OK to have kept them that way? I’m not pointing the finger, but the list could be very long if we stopped for one second and really thought about the things we do and see on a daily basis. This so called expert on TV was showing his snakes in these little boxed cages, saying there is really no safe enclosures for such creatures. Did I hear that right?

Instinct is strong. How often do we say “I knew it, I never should have…”.  But it’s become a natural thing to ignore instinct. When Leigha was born I tried breastfeeding and it was awful. They told me to put her on each side for 10 minutes and then to feed her for as long as I could. What was that really suppose to mean? Shouldn’t I have listened to my baby or my instinct? It was a nightmare, one that was replaced by my smarts when my second child was born and I decided to do it my way. The boys’ mother told my daughter she so didn’t want them to go that evening – in the end, she gave in. She let them. Leigha told me JC always gets up in the night to check on the kids – was that by instinct? My dad checked on me every night before he went to bed. He did right up until I left for University at age 18. Once, when I was four I had my tonsils out and nearly drowned in my blood. He found me in his routine check. My dad always felt he should check on us – and he did. He saved two of his four children that way. Bleeders he would call us.

The press is something else and makes it all so much more difficult. I don’t know what’s wrong with the Canadian press, their reports are full of crap. It reminds me of these publications that depend on sensationalism. Hence, I rarely watch the news. I always feel I should wait until everything is out in the open, otherwise I really don’t know ANYTHING. This time it’s different, it hurts because I know the mother and knew the children and as a result I watch the news. But I have my own opinions and that’s even more difficult.

The python may not have fed as it should have as it was enclosed for so long – I think it was ten years (not sure here).  That was my first question to Leigha. Did it eat well? How was it fed? How did it react? Did it react? There may be a lot to be said about these creatures in the wild but have we studied them in such conditions? Then I find out the kids had been playing on a farm with the animals. Obvious now I’m thinking as it must have been attracted to the smell. Food. An opportunistic animal – why not? Now it is said it fell through the ceiling. How’s that? Did it coil up and applied all of its weight in one spot? I don’t think so. Was the ceiling rotten??? How do we know that it would have “gripped” it’s victim with it’s teeth before coiling around it? One can essentially manipulate a little child that age in any way without waking it – especially after a busy day after which it’s “dead” tired. What if the child were completed relaxed and didn’t move  would the animal have had to insert its teeth in its victim to coil around it? What about the people saying that the python would have swallowed them already? Really? My common sense tells me that the feeding process is not instantaneous – it’s not like like the snake has little arms to push its prey into its throat. There seems to be little if any common sense with the press. They are interviewing all these experts and yet asking all the wrong questions.

Then there’s the public and the way people react. My mother is getting older and she’s living in an apartment building for seniors. The information she comes up with is painful for me. I tell her not to listen and assume – it’s always better to ask ourselves questions rather than taking it all in I tell her.

It’s so easy to blame the man who was sleeping in the next room while the life was sucked out of these two little boys.

I blame the community and the authorities who lay dormant before human ignorance. 


9 thoughts on “My take on the snake

  1. I agree with you, Sheep. I feel there are 2 kinds of animals: domesticated and wild and the wild ones need to stay there. We have rattle snakes and scorpions here, but if you live in the city (not on the outskirts) and don’t go hiking, you are not entering their territory. We were not meant to live with the bears, after all.

    I appreciate you mentioning intuition. I think it’s one of the strongest natural assets we have as humans, yet we shove it aside, which other animals would never do, like my little cat, who always has one ear up while sleeping in case a wild gazelle comes waltzing into our room. Sometime Moush reminds me to listen to my gut. For me, it helps to keep me safe in this city. Before my vision loss, I always sized people up, scanned my surroundings, and so on as I tend to do errands at night. I’ve had some encounters, but I can scare people off (knock on wood). Is this intuition or my street smarts? I don’t know, but it’s kept me alive when so much crime abounds.

    The American media is very sensationalized, too. It is much worse than when I was younger and I think this trend is not going away. It reminds me of the Yellow Journalism we had at the beginning of the 20th century. How else can they compete with the reality shows?

    Well, my heart goes out to your friend and all of you–and her poor sons, who never should have been near any of those animals and were taken much too soon. We have similar things here and while you need permits and whatnot, I don’t agree with the practice or that they should be kept in residential areas. A tragedy all around. Thanks for sharing, regardless.
    A x

    • Thanks A. 🙂

      We now know with the necropsy results that the snake was in good health. I wasn’t surprised to hear that given that the place was very well kept (very clean – so much so that it didn’t smell like a reptile place if you can believe it). I also know that it was a passion for JC to keep these animals. I’m convinced that what got the snake to find its way out was the smell of the farm animals on the children. It simply acted naturally out of instinct – sadly in this case. What now gets to me is how the authorities say they never gave the snake to the owner which I don’t believe he lied about. I mean why would he do that given that there was nothing hidden about the place or the animals living there? There was obviously a lack of control. I don’t know how the mom finds the strength to handle this. Leigha spoke to her last night and she was speaking beautiful words about them and even offering words of comfort. What a beautiful woman she is.

      • Well, I’m glad the mom is holding up, but from my understanding, this was in a residential area (or is it rural?) and a city ordinance should have kept this zoo of sorts from being there.

        Believe it or not, I had to get some maintenance done on my car (oh, and my tires have cracks all over and are about to blowout–great that I haven’t seen in 2 yrs), and the TV was on in the rather gross waiting room of the place I went to in my less-than-stellar neighborhood. I had my sclerals in, which were driving me bonkers, but I could sort of see the TV (it was really small so too hard for anyone to see) and they were talking about a python and these 2 boys. I was listening more than watching due to the distance, but it was on one of those tabloid shows in the US. The volume was low but I heard “Noah.” I asked this lady across from me if they were talking about Canada (no one will know NB out here) and she said they were and I was like, “Omg, my friend lives there and knows them!” She thought I was very odd, but at least she spoke English so she was closer to the TV than I and could understand it all. So, you’ve become famous over something very tragic. I was surprised the national tabloids picked this up as all they care about is reality TV. I hope something positive will come out of it, like changes to the law, if nothing else. I hope Leigha is holding up…

      • I totally agree with the city ordinance. It’s a small town of approximately 7000 people and his business was close to the city center. He once had a zoo permit and somewhere along the way the SPCA and the Govt of NB would have asked him to take some of the animals in charge – that’s what’s all over the news. Of course they were in denial and no provincial authority can explain why the place wasn’t inspected. When I first moved here I was shocked when Leigha told me I should visit the place. I kept wondering how it could be legal. What really bothered me was that everyone it seemed knew of the place but that it was all good. But then one of the things that make me want to move away from here is the ignorance of people. I’ve noticed in my own little town how people cut all the trees they want and no one intervenes. I once mentioned it on FB and there was no way around it – excuses – they essentially do what they want to do. Same with finding a job here – you have more value if your knowledge and or education is close to that of the people who live here. It sort of reminds me a little of the years where everything was kept silent.

        It’s odd to be close to such a thing and most of all to know the people to whom it all happened to.

        Leigha is doing OK but she really feels she needs to see the boys one more time and that will be tomorrow. I don’t know what to do. I feel I need to go to support them but this is so hard.

      • I understand the small town mentality. It was like that where I lived in CA, as it’s a snow bird community near the Mexican border so it’s 50% rich, retired people with 2nd homes and 50% largely undocumented people with no education. I was trying to work still and my resume was very threatening and people (the locals) were just not what I was used to in the US. If I had been in Mexico still, it would have been different.

        Well, I guess you need to support Leigha at this time. If she can go by herself and is okay with that, then maybe that’s for the best. I’m afraid to ask what “seeing the boys one more time” means. I’m not sure how close YOU were with the family and you have so much on your plate. You can always send a thoughtful card and flowers (or whatnot) as many others are probably doing. I would be more concerned with being an ear for Leigha at this time. Just my take.

Talk to the sheep

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