Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Presenting Thumbelina

The things I do for love.....
Last week, Emma came in and told me that she found "something like a snake" in the yard. I thought, surely the child would not approach a snake, and if she had, she would be screaming, so I said, "You mean like a big worm?" And she said yes, kind of like that. So, I went outside to see what it was, and she had, indeed, found a small snake in the yard.

I said: "Oh, look at the cute little snake!

I thought: "Dear God, they found a snake. What if it's poisonous? There are a lot of poisonous snakes in North Carolina, aren't there? I can't make them afraid of snakes. I am going to have to pick it up. What if it's poisonous? Okay, I don't think it could bite me if it wanted to, it's head is too small. I am touching a snake. Please, someone, pinch me and tell me this isn't really happening."

I did, in fact, pick up the little snake. It was a strong little bugger! They don't have any hands, so how on earth did it hold on to the grass so tightly? I had a hard time getting it - I didn't want to hurt it, and it, of course, was trying valiantly to slip into the grass and disappear.
Once I got it, I looked at its eyes, thinking "I can tell if it's poisonous by its eyes, right? How does that work again? Why don't I have a snake book?" It had nice round, yellow eyes, not poisonous looking at all. Actually, looking into its eyes, I sensed no animosity. I have an odd connection with reptiles - don't ask me why. They just like me. Isn't that a disturbing thought?

When we held it with two hands, it was quite calm. It reached up and sniffed my hair and my glasses. The girls each held it - Abbie went first, of course, because Emma wasn't quite sure she wanted to touch it. (Emma lives by the motto, if Abbie doesn't get hurt, then I might try, too.) But, once she saw that it wasn't dangerous or slimy, she held it too.

The girls named their reptilian friend "Thumbelina," and they talked to "her," and had a grand time checking "her" out. They really wanted to keep "her," but I didn't know what to put "her" in, and there is NO WAY WE ARE KEEPING A SNAKE IN THE HOUSE EVER but I didn't say that part. I told them to tell her goodbye, so they each had one more turn holding this little snake, kissed it goodbye (!), and we let it go back into the flower bed.

Honestly, it's things like this that make me so glad I homeschool. We've met Thumbelina the snake, and gotten to see a baby robin that was just learning to fly. We've had birds build a nest on our front door wreath, and seen them grow up and fly away. And let's not forget Hoppy the grasshopper - Abbie took him to preschool last year, and now every time we see a grasshopper outside, we say hello to "Hoppy." We find bird nests and leaves and pretty rocks, and bring them home. I have so much fun, I think I might be homeschooling for ME.

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