When I was a little kid (probably about six), my mother had a friend who we called "Miss Lisa." Mom thought she was incredibly odd, and was always criticizing her because she had moths and flies loose in her house all the time, and every time we went over there, we could hear crickets in the back room.
Miss Lisa came to my day camp one summer to show off her collection (she had a permit to do education) and brought a *huge* tortoise named Sam, who I got to feed sweet potatoes to. She also brought a whole bin full of recently hatched Hognose snakes. Tht was when my love for herps began. I had never held a snake before - I was always afraid of them - but these little Hognoses were so cute and little, I held two at once!
After that I was always outside catching box turtles and painted turtles. I'd take them home for a few days, then let them go where I found them. I even managed to find a few Hognose snakes in the woods near my house!
Ever since then, that one little snake has been on my mind. I jusr recently bought my first Hognose (last week), fulfilling a dream since childhood. I wish I could find Lisa now and tell her what an impact she has had on my life. I'm even planning on getting a permit to do rehab and education, like she did, so I can teach other little girls (and boys) just how interesting reptiles are.
- Victoria :w