You have been warned.
OK, so you might have noticed that there are no snakes in the above picture. Don't bother looking either, it isn't a "Where's Waldo the Snake" picture. (Unless the snake guy didn't take them all with him when he left, and I'm pretty sure that he did. But, if Max turns up missing any time soon, then maybe I should check under the couch. But I digress...) That's the adorable birthday girl, above. The one who loves snakes, and reptiles, and yes, amphibians. She is a fan of all things scaly and slithery and tadpole-y. So, when we were at the Carp Fair last year, and Leah saw that there was a Little Ray's Reptile Zoo tent there, she was mesmerized by the snakes. She found out that they did birthday parties, and it was game over. We were having a Snake Party!
Children were invited:
And a few adults were too:
(You didn't think I'd let this opportunity to quote from Snakes on a Plane go by without taking advantage of it, didja?)
Pizza was ordered, the room was decorated, and the cat was locked in my ensuite bathroom to avoid inadvertently becoming snake chow.
I can't say enough about Kevin and the show he put on with the snakes. He was so good with the kids, he remembered all their names, was so patient with all their questions, and really, really knew his stuff. It wasn't just letting the kids pet the snakes, no, he started with North American snakes, and then South American, African etc. He explained what kind of snake each was, where it comes from, what it eats, how big it gets, etc., etc. He also brought a monitor lizard and a cayman. The kids were spellbound. It was fun and educational and way cool. Here are a few of the 50 or so pictures I took:
A teeny tiny Rubber Boa, native to BC. Who knew we had boas in Canada?
It looks like a Rattlesnake, but it isn't, it's a harmless Bullsnake.
The monitor lizard had very sharp claws.
The Yellow Anaconda was my favourite snake, it's just beautiful. And heavy.
The cayman was pretty laid-back. I'm thinking crocodillian valium. He did have his snout taped shut (avoiding his nostrils) just to ensure that there were no nasty missing-finger issues.
Then violently and without warning, the house was tipped on its side and screaming children slid down the suddenly inclined walls to fall in a giant heap while Kevin valiantly used a hook to keep the Reticulated Python pinned to the once-floor and now-wall so that it wouldn't be flung down on the unsuspecting kiddies!!! (No, not really. For some reason I can't get this photo to come out in the correct orientation. I've rotated and saved it about 50 times on my hard drive to no avail, but my explanation is way better, I think. Just tilt your head.)
That snake (Reticulated Python) was voted Most Likely to Eat Someone, as it was not a happy camper and lunged at Kevin. No petting was allowed, and it was sent to its box without any supper.
And then came the big boy. Or big girl, actually. I think her name was Pebbles. Yes, I had a 12-foot Boa Constrictor in my living room. How incredibly cool was that?
Check out the size of her! She's huge. And gentle. She seemed to like all the petting.
After we said goodbye to Kevin and the reptiles, and everyone washed their hands, it was pizza and cake time.
I don't think any of the kids is going to forget the party anytime soon. Samuel L. Jackson would have been proud.