Thursday, October 13, 2011

Beating my fears

I have been lucky I guess with the most placid of stimson pythons who never even looked at me funny and a couple of BHPs(black headed pythons) who barely move. I just picked up a second hand NT Carpet from someone leaving town who didn't really want the snake in the first place. They were to scared to have him and I assume a lot of attempts at handling him had gotten him frightened & defensive over the time. After leaving him for a week to settle into my house and two days after feeding him, I decided this baby was the best way to get over my natural flinch reaction to being bitten. I put my hand into his cage and instantly retreated after he rared up and struck out missing me of course because my hand was already in the fridge grabbing a beer to soothe my nerves.

After the beer my confidence was a little higher and once again I reached in, this time when he struck I closed my eyes like I would on a rollercoaster where you know your going to be ok but reality is you're still terrified and I felt his little teeth scrape innocently against my skin. Opening them again I slowly moved my hand trying not to frighten him he slid over it and then as I moved to pick him up he strikes again. Two drops of red appeared on my index finger.

I take him from the cage he is a little nuts right now and strikes several more times in the movement my left hand is now spotted with red so with slow deliberate movements place him in my lap and calmly place my right palm over him and sit quietly.

It actually doesn't take long for him to calm down but when I raise my right hand he goes flying trying to escape and he is quick for a 20cm pencil thin thing so I try to pull him back and he rears up again and latches onto my stomach. This time I guess he isn't letting go. Well for 30 seconds anyway.

After a few minutes I returned him to his cage and left him alone.

Yesterday I handled him again and after some defensive cage striking and a few more bites he actually is a lot calmer being handled. He ran quite successfully along my arms and hands and didn't mind being recaught when I needed to put him away. I have high hopes for him. Its my first carpet and Im surprised at how fast he moves compared to my other snakes.

Its funny how I have now been bitten by him about 20 times with only half of that barely drawing blood yet that initial fear reaching into his cage is still present. This activity is as much for him as it is for me. I love especially how a 20cm baby carpet terrifies me more then both my metre long BHPs haha.

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