The Citizen Investigative Reporter: In the interests of public safety everywhere, this report from Leesburg, Va.
Samuel, 8: Once upon a time I was sleeping. Then my pet snake Bruno escaped.
And then I woke up and didn’t see my snake. I said “Curses! Foiled again!”
After that I gave everybody the bad news.
I told Isaac [Samuel’s elder bother, 18] that my snake escaped. And I said, “Aaarrrgghaerrr!”
Snakes are good for killing crickets. Not clickets.
Snakes eat spiders and then clickets. He was a very lost snake and a harmless snake. Mom picked him up by hand.
C.I.R: Isn’t she afraid of snakes?
Samuel: No. Oh no.
Uriah, 5: When Mom saw the snake, she picked him up and showed him to us. He was sticking his tongue out. That’s how snakes smell food. We put wet leaves in his cage, and looked at him in his cage. When we got up this morning he wasn’t in the cage any more.
C.I.R.: Did anybody see him escape? Any body? Hello?
Jean: The boys named him for the “Curious George” [a children’s book] character.
I’m usually the first one downstairs and in the kitchen in the morning, but for some reason this morning I was later than usual, and Brian had already gone to work. I noticed that the lid was not positioned as I had arranged it before I went to bed and, of course, nobody had a clue as to what happened.
Dave, the boys’ Grandpa: I didn’t have anything to do with it. I saw him before you put him in that cage. He was a small brown snake with brown eyes and a black tongue.
And by the way, that wasn’t a cage; it was a clear plastic salad bowl and Jean had kitchen cloths wadded under the lid so air could get in.
I knew something like this would happen. You couldn’t just leave him where you found him in the leaves. No-ooo-ooo. He was so much better off just lying there in the –
C.I.R.: We’re not looking for opinions here, sir. Just facts.
A concerned witness described the scene to The Citizen. Jean, the boys’ mother, spotted the little serpent as she was sweeping the leaves off the front stoop. She picked him up and carried him through the house to the kitchen where she managed to get a plastic salad bowl from a high shelf with one hand and placed the little critter in it.
He was a pretty thing, only about 14” long and of a sweet caramel brown color with two slightly darker brown stripes the length of his body. Only at about mid-way did his diameter appear a trifle wider than a quarter-inch drinking straw.
His delicate head, beady eyes and darting split tongue composed a fine portrait of a tiny person who will have a tough time finding enough to eat with the temperature dropping towards the chill of winter.
Jean : I just now called Brian and he didn’t know anything about the snake. I was going to release him where I found it, after the kids looked at him a little later. My suspicion is that Samuel opened up the cage. The odd thing, is Samuel is usually pretty straightforward.
C.I.R.: Tell you what. The only thing we can say for sure is that the little Northern Brown Snake, as it seems to be, will thank his onetime captors for the crumbs that adorn the kitchen floor. They need to be careful and not poke the shop vac nozzle into the dark corners under the cabinets.
Our Nature Editor advises setting a tiny bit of water in an out-of-the-way corner, perhaps some leaves on the floor. It is doubtful that the little vagrant can climb to the sink, and he will definitely need water, even if only a jar lid full.
And aren’t you glad you don’t have a cat right now? That would skew the odds of Bruno’s survival something awful.
Any information on the whereabouts of Bruno may be directed to the following: SallieS@Juno.com.
Meanwhile, Happy Thanksgiving to all.
The Citizen Investigative Reporter.