Monday, February 20, 2006

Girl takes ribbon snake bite personally.

So, as most of you know, I am a snake owner.  I love snakes - I think they're beautiful, sleek, very misunderstood creatures. 

Anyway, my snake's name is Phyl.  This could be short for Phyllis or Phyllip - its an androgenous name because snakes are very hard to sex.  I've had Phyl for about two years now and he's gotten very long and very fat.  He's my buddy.  I handle him often, the kids handle him, Kayla's friend handle him, and he's generally a pretty cool snake. 

Until this time.

I bought him a beautiful brand new 15 gallon aquarium because he's too big for his old 5 gallon one.  I got him new bedding, new river rocks, and put his plant and pond in there.  I was all proud of myself. 

So I take Phyl out like I usually do when its time to put his food in there, which, by the way, is live rosie fish.  I held him for a while, letting him go in and out of my fingers, when I noticed he had some white shiney stuff on his head.  Ew?  So being the mom I am, I grabbed a paper towel and moistened it with warm water, and ran it over his whole body. 

Now, ribbon snakes rarely bite I've read, but when they're really hacked they'll "musk" - nasty smelling stuff will come out of them, which is harmless.  You just wash it off and go on with your business.  Well, Phyl "musked" and yeah it was nasty.  Then I noticed his little mouth open and freaked - he was trying to bite me!

The little S***!

He finally did get ahold of me, and I was freaked and yelling and screaming and shaking and the whole fandamily came to my aid, sorta.  More like, they watched, mouths agape, as I freaked out over my snake.

I was so hurt and upset that I didn't realize I'd put him in his old cage.  Tearful, bleeding, I put his fish in his pond and grabbed the thickest winteryest sock I could find so I could pick him up and relocate him.  I'm so glad I took that precautionary measure, because the little craphead dug into that sock, through the sock to my skin...and wouldn't let go!  I lowered him tail-first into the tank and he hung there, attached to the sock for a good two minutes before he let go.


He's not a rattlesnake, so there's no fangs there, just a gazillion little needle-like razor sharp teeth that hurt like a monkey when they get ya.  You can't even see the bite on my finger anymore.

Needless to say, the female that I am, I took it personally.  WAY personally.  He's never been aggressive or mean before, ever.  I've let tiny children handle this snake.  He pooped on Kayla's friend, but that was the worst that's ever happened.

I'm bummed.

He didn't eat his last batch of fish, and he hasn't touched this one.  He's not shedding, but he keeps rubbing his snout on everything like it itches.  I'm hoping that's why he got so nippy.

Anyone out there own a western ribbon?  I can't figure out why he got so nasty. 

There ya go - the pathetic low-light of my weekend.  Bitten by my own snake.  Now you see why I live vicariously through my friends.



twolovepeach said...

lol, I have never commented before, but gotta this time! Your story telling made my day! I was bummed over numerous things in my life, but at least I can say getting bit by my snake isn't one of them! :)  Good Luck with your mystery!

donah42 said...

I don't know anything about snakes, but my first thought was that he might be feeling stressed about his new, bigger environment and might just need some time to adjust and be sure that everything is cool in there and that there's not anything else lurking in the bigger space. Are snakes territorial?

gdireneoe said...

I soooo don't get the snake thing...but i understand pet concerns.  It sounds as though he may be sick...fungul maybe?  I sthere a vet near that might know something? ;)  C.

kuhlhiggins said...

I don't blame you for taking the snake bite personally. I take it personally when Chloe tries to bite me. When she does that she is immediately put outside. I know being bitten by a snake is different from being biten by a cat but since I don't have a snake and do have a cat I thought I would share that with you.

luvmort said...

O.k., Eve, haven't you women learned any lessons when dealing with snakes?

shermeen0621 said...

Oh, i'm sorry to hear that your snake bit you. I'm not sure i'd be brave enough to handle a snake, i've only just managed dogs and cats. I'm currently working on ferretts. the price one has to pay for being in love with an animal lover.
I hope that there's nothing seriously wrong with him/her, maybe it was just having a crabby day. or maybe it didn't like its new home. i hope it doesn't happen again though.

shermeen xx

ravenlark2 said...

No Snakes, Children, Burning Mice or Ghosts here...except me. HEHE
Congrats on losing the weight...keep it up hun.


astaryth said...

Hmmm... do you have a local vet/petstore that deals in reptiles? I would say the sudden aggressiveness is tied in with the 'gunk' on his head. If he is a he it may be a musk type thing... or the weather... or something hormonal.. or maybe a fungus that is making him uncomfortable?? Anytime an animal act out of character there is usually a reason, often physical, for it. He's a pretty boy by the way!

philadlfiagrl said...


snakes hardly can give you attitude! lol maybe he smelled the fishie on ur hands or maybe he didnt like his new home u were sending him to, or MAYBE he is sick (whatever that jazz is on his nose)

whichever, im sure he didnt MEAN to bite the hand that feeds him
if he even realizes that

reptiles do not have feelings like us

(ok ok dont beat me up for that i know he's ur pet) lol


alphamoon65 said...

Could Phyl have a cold.  Sometimes they will try to rub their faces against objects to clear breathing passages..or attempt to clean them out even though it's on the inside.  You might have to have a vet check the little cutie out.  Good luck.

clhpame said...

Im sorry I dont have a snake but I'll tell you what, When my pet rabbit bit me
while i was trying to feed him I took it very personal. He drew blood and my finger was bruised for 2 weeks.  will you believe i acually got mad at my rabbit,
i made my daughter feed him after that and i wouldent speek to him for the rest of the day. kinda silly huh.   clhpame.