The Attack Snake
There are certain advantages to living alone in the town of Mount Perry, Florida. Not the least of which is the selection of a house pet. On a recent trip to the big city I visited a pet store and bought a snake. It was a neat little snake with pretty markings but it was hungry all the time. Of course, being a snake it didn't bark, meow or whine to let me know of its hunger. It just sat there in my old fish tank sticking its tongue out at me.
As time went by, my little snake began to grow. It seemed such a waste to feed this snake and get nothing back for my effort. I decided to train my snake to perform some useful function around the house. Naturally, anything requiring the use of hands or feet was out of the question. If I wanted something with hands and feet I'd have to return the snake and get a lizard.
Unfortunately, I had reached this conclusion too late. The snake was now my buddy and I was destined to take care of my skinny little friend for life. Dragging a chair into the room with the fish tank in it, I sat down to contemplate my dilemma. What could one do with a pet snake? This was indeed a vexing question.
I carefully lifted the snake out of the tank and let it crawl around in my lap. It found a nice warm spot, curled up and went to sleep. At least I think it was asleep, it never closed it's eyes. Then it occurred to me. If the snake never closed it's eyes even when it slept, it would make an ideal watch snake for my little store. My problem was solved. Now all that remained was to teach the snake to attack on command.
In looking at my little buddy, I thought it was a bit on the skinny side to be truly ferocious looking. I was going to have to find some way to "Pump Up" my little snake before it would be considered truly formidable. Obviously the first step was a change in diet.
On my very next trip to the big city, I stopped at a health food store and picked up a large can of high protein dietary supplement. At first the little snake resisted this change but it wasn't long before my little friend realized I wasn't to be trifled with. Consumption of the dietary supplement was no longer a daily struggle and my skinny little buddy began to "Flesh Out".
Next I addressed the question of exercise. I watched as other residents of Mount Perry, walked their dog, cat, lizard or alligator on a leash. I would have to follow their lead in kind. Regular exercise would convert that fleshed out look into solid muscle. Fashioning a collar and leash from an old belt, I also began walking my snake right along with the rest of the pet owners. Naturally, this new activity was met with some limited resistance from my ordinarily sedentary snake. At first the snake resisted my efforts here as well as with the new diet. However, it wasn't long before the snake realized I was just as adamant about this as I had been about the diet. In time the snake even began to enjoy these walks, straining at the leash and forcing me to walk faster to keep up with it.
I put some bars and weights in the old fish tank so the snake could hang from them and lift specially made weights with its tail. My snake soon bulged with huge muscles from end to end. My snake was obviously ready to begin training as an attack snake. I put a mirror at one end of the fish tank and showed the snake how to strike at its own reflection then dodge away before the strike hit the mirror. The snake took to this exercise like a fish to water. In no time at all I had a snake that could strike at its own reflection and get away before the strike hit the mirror nine times out of ten.
Food thrown into the tank with the snake was snagged while still in mid air. The snake, seeing the food moving through the air, would rear back and strike the object with lightning speed, its red eyes glistening with anticipation.
Next I made a big picture of myself and placed it near the food dish. On the other side of the tank I put a TV set and wired it to a small piece of foil on the floor of the tank. Every time a picture of someone other than myself flashed on the screen the snake would get a mild electric shock. However, the snake could avoid the shock if it struck the TV fast enough and with enough force to throw a small switch.
My daily walks were taking an odd turn. People who used to share the sidewalk with me, now went the other way if they saw me coming. I noticed my snake eying their pets with a strange glint in its eye. Those few who did walk past my snake and I, seldom did it again. As they passed, my snake would make a lightening quick movement, the other person would suddenly find they were dragging an empty collar down the sidewalk.It was very hard to tell if the snake was merely flexing its muscle or if there was really a new bulge moving down its abdomen. Somehow, I felt it best not to ask too many questions about this. My training however had been very successful.
If the other person suddenly found their leash empty and began accusing me of foul play, my snake would rise up and rear back as if to strike, muscles rippling and red eyes shining in the warm Florida sun. This usually ended such accusations very quickly, although it did little to increase my popularity among the other pet owners.
At long last it was time to put my snake to work in the store. It was some twenty feet long now and it was time for the snake to start earning its keep. In the morning I would take the snake out of its home in the fish tank. I would put it in the Eastern facing window of my shop where it was sunny and warm. If someone came into the shop with anything but shopping in mind all I needed to do was to call up my snake.The snake would slither out of its resting place and move to where the undesirable person stood. It would then rear back and up to its full seven foot height hissing and sticking its tongue out at them. It was usually enough to cause even the most determined salesman to reconsider.
Unfortunately, it also had a detrimental effect on the customers who regularly frequented my shop. Oh well, this does give me more time to devote to writing and I have my snake for company.