Sunday, January 02, 2005

Snake Medicine


It was Wednesday when it all started. The morning was normal they were up early playing, exploring, and catching fish.

Sophia, went first she caught one and threw it into the water dish then went back for another.

When she was done eating Joseph came to the water dish and at the fish she had left behind. about an hour later he went into his hut (coconut shell) as if to nap. Another hour he came out to the front of tank where I could see and threw up the fish.

At first, I only saw this silver reflection in the glass. Then I saw it was a fish, I thought he'd caught another but was not hungry enough to eat it.

I took a closer look and realized that it was partially digested and I was concerned. I was told that if they throw up its because they are too cold to digest food.

I took it out of the tank and threw it away. He seemed interested in letting me know that he was not feeling well. I wondered .. do snakes get upset tummies from bad fish? How do you know that the fish is good? I wondered too if this would turn him off fish..

I had know idea what was wrong with him. It was well over 80degrees in there which is plenty warm enough especially in the winter when there natural environment would be cold enough to limit eating and insist on hibernation.

Thursday, Joseph woke up first with clouded eyes. His eyes normally hazel/copper colored with large black pupils were always glossy.

I now new something was.. I remembered that the care guide mention that healthy snakes have clear eyes except when shedding. It was an obscure comment though. Not really going into specific shedding habits nor revealing what other ailment could cause clouded eyes.

Joseph was behaving as though he had pms. He seemed moody like he was in some kind of miserable trance. He was reclusive and sophia noticed it too.

She spent the whole day checkin in on him, laying with him, and feeling him some how.

I went online on did read that when snakes shed from one to three month cycles, there eyes cloud and they often reject food.

Ok. this would explain it. Well somewhat. It mentioned nother about the mood shift but perhaps I was unique at noticing such things.

The final test was this. Shedding was a three day process. In three days I would know. I was patient. I watched them but let sophia be his main sorce of comfort.

Friday Morning day two..his eyes were clear. I thought that was a little premature, I expected the cloudy eye thing to last for three days. But they were back to their shinier selves. So I thought if it was just bad fish he's better now.

I went out for new year's eve. I had a blast and forgot about the two of them for an evening. I did notice that sophia went from sleeping inside her statue to sleeping with Joseph inside the coconut shell. I thought it was a good sign that she really cared for him as well as that he needed her some how.

I got up early on saturday new years day and went out to breakfast with my friend. After that we took a stroll on the boardwalk.

By the time we go back much had happend. Joseph had shed his skin for the new year. there were long pieces of hollowed skin on the shell of the coconut, on the wood in the center, at the floor of the tank, and finally in their water dish. It appeared as if his morning stroll resulted in him just climbing out of his dead skin.

There were several pieces of wood in the water dish as well which told me he had taken a bath to sort of " finalize" the shedding process and moisturize his new skin, which in general looked much healthier than the old stuff.

I was sorry I missed nature in the moment but I was excited to know that all was well and that nature had taken its course quite naturally.

Sophia could now go back to her usual activities and independence; but i noticed that she didn't instead of sleeping in her statue like normal she was sneaking back in Josephs shell at night. She would retire to her statue of course. She had me thinking she was over it. Joseph was back to his old self catching fish and climbing around afterall. I turned out the light for the night.

This morning when I turned the lights on, Sophia was the first to emerge. I followed the end of her tail to the back of the coconut shell where it seemed she thought she would exit discreetly to make it appear that she had not spent the night with Joseph for more than womanly obligation.

It was the sweetest moment.

Later when Joseph had met the new day, Sophia went back to her statue for a nap. He seemed to be looking for her, moving all over the tank tongue flickering.

Finally, as a last resort he tipped his head to the whole in the statue where sophia enters. He must have called to her in some special way because she appeared moments later. Just poking her head out. Joseph moved back under the rock where he could coil and just look at her. but that was after the two of them had shared a long gaze into each others eyes almost nose to nose. Just looking at each other. Speaking some language of love and romance.

It was the sweetest thing I had seen Just to see this new love take hold. To see the bond that was forming a bond of love in innocent baby snakes. It was the best thing..

Sophia, had been under my veterinarian care for the past two days having a scratch at her throat that did not appear to be healing on time. It had been there since I brought her home and after two/three weeks it was looking worse instead of better.

I bought some special medicines at the pet store for cuts and to prevent/cure colds and things. It now seems to be working .. the medicine that is. she doesn't like being bothered but does realize its for her own good because now the would is drying up (getting darker) and shrinking.

I think somehow they understand they are my pets, I think somehow they understand it is a big world and I don't own them, I also think though as time goes by what they will think about most besides me and their circumstance of captivity is that they have each other.

Man Woman and the future.

Its a beginning.


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