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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Carving Pumpkins


One of my favorite things to do around Halloween is to carve pumpkins. Brent and I had talked about doing it, but then I got an e-mail saying our FHE group was going to be doing that for our next activity. I was excited. Brent and his brother Brian I guess have a tradition where they don't carve the normal cute faces in their pumpkins... they think of different violent scene's to carve, which I feel fits in with the holiday, but I guess it creeps some people out. So he was thinking of what to carve in the pumpkin and then he was inspired by my roommate Tina who had told us a story the week before. The story goes like this:









There is a family in Springville Utah and they had a pet Boa Constrictor that had free range of the house, and supposedly slept at the end of the parents bed... like a dog or cat, which is weird/dumb. I guess they kept rats or mice in the garage for when the snake got hungry. One day the wife noticed that the snake stopped eating the mice in the garage, so she called the vet to make sure that the snake was alright. The vet assured her everything was fine, but if it was still not eating in another month or so, to give them a call. So she waits like the vet told her and the snake was still not eating. She called the vet again, tells him that the snake was still not eating and it was also acting weird, she had found the snake stretched out on her side of the bed. The vet then told her to get rid of the snake immediately, kill the thing if she had to because it was measuring to EAT HER!!! Then the woman is hesitant because it is the family pet. HA!

Anyway... I admit that the thought of this happening is kind of gross... but when Tina told Brent and I , we both started laughing, which Tina could not understand. I had pet snakes before, and I have just never heard of a snake measuring its food before it eats. And why would it change diets all of the sudden? Just one day decide, I don't think I want to eat mice anymore, so I am going to stop eating for a while so I can save some room for a human! It just seemed very unrealistic, but she swore it was a true story. Well my friends... I don't know why I didn't do this earlier, but I decided to look up on the Internet if snakes do indeed measure their prey before they eat, and I ran across this same story, and they were asking if it was true and turns out it is a legend. Sorry guys. I guess people probably change the story to sound like it came from someone they knew so people would believe it and then get a kick out of everyone's reactions. That is what I have done with this story. I love to see what people say after I tell them. Only one person didn't believe the story (besides Brent and I) and I am proud to say that it was my sister Kristy. :o) Anyway... here is the answer that I found in response to that story, asking if it were true. I thought it was a great answer and confirms a lot of what was going through my head when I first heard the story.

"No. That is an urban legend, and a persistent one, at that. I hear variations of this story on a regular basis and it simply isn't true.

First off; a five or six foot long snake, no matter how thick, is incapable of eating an average sized adult woman.

Second, snakes don't really 'measure' their food in that way; if they notice something is much too big to eat (like a woman would be to a snake that size), they don't even think about trying to eat it. While not stupid at all; snakes are very instinct-driven animals and their minds simply don't work like that. If they decide something is food, they attack it immediately. No measuring or calculating period necessary. ;)

Third, how the woman is said to keep the snake should give anyone experienced with reptiles reasonable doubt. Snakes need terrariums that are temperature and humidity controlled, (unless they want to mist their carpets daily and keep their house with a basking spot of 88-95 degrees with an ambient (background) temperature in the high eighties) and it is simply unsafe to allow a snake to slither around without observation. The snake could get hurt or lost, or is capable of killing small animals. I know of no responsible keeper who would allow their pets to wander around without supervision.

But say if we gave this story the benefit of the doubt, and it is true that a woman somewhere did allow her large snake to free-roam, and she found it lying length-wise next to her upon waking. If that happened, the most likely reason behind it in the snake’s mind would be that the snake was cold, the human was warm, and that was the most convenient way to thermoregulate. If the woman was startled and called a vet who wasn’t experienced with reptiles, then it is very possible that the vet could have told her story like that, despite it having no basis in fact. That is the only explanation I can come up with on how this story could have any foundation in a real-life situation."

But lets be honest, it made for a fantastic pumpkin carving! The End.

7 comments:

Chuck & Desiree said...

Oh my word. The first pic of you and Brent I had NO clue what the pumpkin carving was of. And now that I see it? Kinda, really creepy with her hair flying back and... ew.
So, I have a snake story.
My grandmother had a pet Boa. She kept it in a cage thing though. My aunt and cousin were living with her. My cousin was a toddler. Anyways. The snake got out and was living in the walls of the house for months eating mice or whatever. So one day my aunt was putting my cousin jessica down for a nap without turning the light on. Jessica said "No, no. Nake get me. Nake get me." My aunt said "Jessica, just go to bed." thinking that my cousin was just being afraid and irrational. Jessica didn't let up and said it again that the snake was going to get her. To prove her point my Aunt said "There is no snake in here" and turned on the light and there it was coiled up in or near the crib.
That story is true. It's been a family favorite. :)Even though I could be messing up some details. But I love that my grandma owned Boa's. She even had pictures done professionally with her and the snake. Classic.
anyways. Love the pics and the pumpkin. Well done even if it is creepy. Thanks for clearing the story up. (I didn't believe it either.)

Jamie said...

This story kind of scared me even though it is irrational. I mean, I know about snakes, but still. If it was in Harry Potter it would still scare me.

Fact: Janee Turner killed her brother's snake with a rifle. Not a real rifle, one of those wooden ones that they twirl in tall flags. The snake was big, it escaped into her room, she freaked out when she saw it and beat it to death.

Seriously smashing job on the pumpkin. ;-)

Lynette Mills said...

Great snake story Tracy...I loved reading the post! And of course, you remember our snake story...getting lost in the heater vent for 4 months. We all thought it was dead or it had escaped, and then one day it slithers out from the water heater closet. I don't know how it stayed alive all that time. I really loved that snake...but I didn't like cleaning the cage....yuck! I also remember taking it to seminary when I taught the garden of eden story...ha ha

Cheryl said...

Fantastic story. No surprise though, you always have been good at tellings good ones. I love the creativity...even if it is a little creepy! hehe

Shawntel said...

Ha! I can't believe people actually believe that story! We always had snakes growing up too. That is so silly!
Now on to my real comment: Your pumpkin is so cool! Great job! Carving pumpkins reminds me of the time when we were in Goleta and we were at you house and we carved pumkins! Oh the good old days! And to hear that you are going to Disneyland! I am so jelous! Oh the memories!

Kelli said...

Trace! so glad we're blogging buddies. You and Brent make a cute couple:) he looks like a keeper.

A Cheatham said...

LOL I love that these photos were just like mine :)