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Posted by amy on September 16, 1998 at 23:49:10:
This afternoon, a friend and I did a presentation for a 3rd grade class. They were studying "living things grow, change and adapt to their environment". The teacher asked us if we could bring some living things to the class, to show the children examples of change and adaptation. We brought several animals, one of which was my 8ft female boa. This boa, I need to add, has never been agressive towards me, I had no reason to think she would be a problem. I judged the situation beforehand, the children were calm, sitting still..so while there was activity in the room, I didn't feel that it was enough that I shouldn't get the snake out.
The presentation was going very well, the children were interested, asking many questions. After we presented the various lizards we had brought, we got out my small boa, and then the big female, so the children could see the difference in size. We were standing there, behind the table, surrounded by about 35 3rd graders, my friend holding my small boa, I had the large one in my arms and around my waist.
After we had been talking to the children for about 10 minutes about boa constrictors, the boa began to crawl up my body. Distracted by the children, I let her...until she reached my shoulder. At this point, I reached my hand up, got ahold of her behind her head, and gently attempted to pull her head back down. It was at this point the boa made it obvious to me she did not want to move.
So I found myself standing there, staring at a classroom full of young children, with a heavy snake supported by one arm, the other one holding it behind the head, while her teeth were affixed to the side of my neck. Unfortunately, my first reacton was to say (quietly, I might add) "oh s*** mindy".
In the minutes after I realized what had happened, and before my friend could detatch the snake, I stood there, the boa attatched to my neck, me holding on to the boas neck, contemplating just walking out of the room with the boa still attatched to me. I didn't know if I was bleeding, or how bad the bite was. Didn't want all those children to see the snake gnawing on my neck while I was bleeding profusely.
I turned my body, so the children couldn't see that the snake was biting me, and my friend detatched her from my neck.
I wasn't seriously hurt, although the potential for disaster was there. It was just unfortunate that my first bite from a large snake had to be at a presentation for children. And I hope they all didn't hear my initial reaction :)