If ever there was a time life decisions were regretted, then this was one of those times.
It seemed a good idea to face my fears, but as the zookeeper strode towards me, my knees were knocking against each other like a tree branch against an abandoned building. I wanted to escape, but I was trapped in a world of my own making.
“I’ve changed my mind,’ I said, and increased the distance between me and the Boa Constrictor.
The zookeeper stopped, but didn’t go backwards either.
“How about we take this slowly . . . I’ll hold him, and you stroke him . . .”
Not wanting to appear rude, I hesitantly stretch out my arm. At the same time, it shrinks against the keeper, who keeps his grip loose.
“Take it slow, you don’t want to spook him.”
Spook him! What about me? I’d much rather walk in the woods, at Halloween, with eerie music playing, than do this. Spook him . . . I’m the one that’s spooked. I swallow and instantly feel the bitterness of my dinner.
I try again and this time I take is slowly, and eventually I stroke the smooth, soft skin. It’s not what I expect, and I am still stroking the snake a few minutes later. Am I ready to drape it round my neck?
The zookeeper doesn’t give me time to think.
The snake just sits there, and trying not to anger it, I keep on stroking the skin. When he finally lifts it off me, I wonder . . . if it is time I had a pet snake . . . but maybe I’ll start small.