Sunday, August 8, 2010

Mice and snakes

I am currently babysitting a snake, which is fine, they are pretty low maintenance.  This year though we've had something of a crisis.  You see, this year they owners have decided to feed the snake live mice rather than dead ones.

The horror.

With some trepidation I agreed to this plan, but found myself procrastinating.  Good thing snakes have slow moving metabolisms, she/he had to wait an extra week.

After a couple of questions from the owners, promises from me and the kids away I went to the store to get the mice.  The owner of the store could see my rather extensive trepidation and I explained the whole story.  He said that he never feeds live mice to any of his animals and it isn't necessary to do so, rather it was the owners choice.

Then he told me I would have to put the mice in one at a time and be sure that the snake gets it, if not they mice can nibble on the snake and possibly kill it.  So that means that I would have to manually lower the mouse into the cage, in my hand, and watch it get taken.  Twice.  It eats two mice.

The horror.

I manned up and got the mice, they fortunately came in a closed cardboard box and I reluctantly left the store with them, got about halfway to the car with the pair of them running around inside the box and squeaking and turned back.

You have to understand, we had mouse infestations in our house in Toronto, I put out catch and release traps.  A momma mouse abandoned her baby under my chair when she discovered I was on it, I carried the baby to where she had gone and hidden, then left the room.  I am a total wimp as far as this goes.  Total.

Anyway, I turned back and got two dead mice.  I'm cool with that, no problem there.  I know the snake has to eat yadda yadda yadda, it's just my role handing them over to their doom that I have trouble with.

Telling the girls about it, I could, I believe, kill an animal if my children needed to eat.  I could do that.  For the snake though?

Not so much.

ps.  it ate them both and seems fine.


Anonymous said...

What I don't get is why you agreed to THEIR PLAN in the first place and had to go thru all that before taking a definitive stand?
Glad it's all worked out. GM

Boo and Trev said...

Good for you! It shows you would not be Milgram experiment collaborator. You didn't end up doing something you really didn't want to. Seriously snakes eating mice or mice eating snakes - this is not my idea of fun with pets

elpadawan said...

How come you still haven't turned vegetarian?

J.G. said...

Why don't snakes eat other snakes? That would be the perfect solution for me.

Funny how there's something about the death part that encourages line-drawing. Literally, in your case. Now I know where that particular canvas a day came from.

oreneta said...

When I agreed to their plan I thought I could dump and run and it was the only feeding option. Things changed up a whole bunch when I talked to the man in the store.

Boo and Trev, I will never ever ever have a reptile as a pet. UGH. Glad I am not collaborator material, such a nasty word isn't it.

ElP, very nearly there, but not just quite yet.

JG, Yeah, I thought that canvas a day was inevitable to some extent....I discovered a line for myself anyway, I will not kill for a captive reptile. I openly admit to the hypocrisy of it, by the same token I also can see a difference somehow. Ultimately though, I think there would be both more brutality and more vegetarians if we had to kill our own meat. Bigger topic for a bigger day I suppose. I'd go veggie most likely.

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

That must be a really good friend if you agree to not only snake-sit but do the whole live mouse feed thing. I'm with you when it comes to a life. I catch and release all kinds of bugs and spiders in my house too. For all you know, the snake is grateful the mice weren't live.

oreneta said...

Well Bodhi, I didn't do the live mouse thing in the end....*shudder* I catch and release most everything but mosquitos actually biting me. Hope the snake was grateful, I am not at all sure it knew the difference considering how hard it worked to kill it.

hulagirlatheart said...

Hmmm, I would have totally wimped out on that chore. I'm no fan of mice, but I can't be involved in the actually killing of an animal. It's just not in me.

Well, except for a snake. I've killed one or two of those, but they scare the dickens out of me.

oreneta said...

So Hula, the killing of a mouse for the sake of a snake would be waaaay off the radar improbable, no?