hehe my turn:
Since I was old enough to read at 3 years of age, I've been reading and learning everything I can about snakes. When I was 6 years old my mom and dad moved me to a house with a pool and I would get many toads and frogs in it. I've never been the squeamish girl type.
I've always handled anything that I found interesting, like bugs, amphibs...but it took me a long time to actually find my first snake.
When I was 13 years old I handled my first snake. I was at an antique store with my cousin, aunt and mother, bored out of my mind, so I went on a mini hike through the woods nearby with my cousin. She found a toad and trying to act like me picked it up (I knew how disgusted she really was).
And then I heard it, a rustling in the leaves, I looked down and I had found a garter snake. I didn't know how to handle it and I didn't want it to bite me, so I picked it up like I saw my dad's friend do once when we were in BC and it didn't squirm that much or anything, and I brought it to show mom.
So as far as actually seeing them and such. Unfortunately I had only seen two in the wild and then there were museums and zoos. But I was always so intrigued by them. And I have to largely thank my parents. They never discouraged me, they never told me that girls don't play with icky things, they never yelled when they found a renegade toad in my room or a frog in the bathroom sink.
And then when I was 16, my herp collecting Began, it's hard to think that I've only owned pet herps for 3 years. The amount of information I've learned and everything I've learned from them, it feels like I've had them all my life.
But they've always been in my head and in my heart