Prairie Dogs for Breakfast

Sue’s Mouse Story prompted me to want to tell this family legend, from my brother’s  childhood, when he was around 13.

Mike, my oldest brother (he’d have been about 15), and Jim (13), my younger big brother owned a Queen snake.

They kept it in a “terrarium” – a large-ish aquarium with a concrete habitat inside it.  One of my uncles was a bricklayer at the time and a lifelong nature-lover.  He’s very good at building habitats like this, so he used concrete and rocks to build up a natural living space for the snake – rocks to sun on, leaves to sleep in.  One morning, my mom placed the terrarium outside to allow the snake some fresh air and light.  When she returned some time later, the snake was gone.   They never found it.  So my parents stowed the terrarium in the crawl space of the house, and kinda forgot about it.

Meanwhile, my cousin Larry was returning from Vietnam via the West Coast, and as he traveled through the western half of our country, he came across a cuddly little prairie dog, which he bought to bring home to his mother, Phyllis, and sister, Karen, as a gift.

They loved their cute little prairie dog, and asked my parents if they could borrow the terrarium for it.  After all, it already had a habitat built in that resembled the prairie dog’s home.  So the terrarium was delivered, the little pup settled in, and all was well.

One idyllic morning, Phyllis and Karen were relaxing over their morning coffee and enjoying watching their little dog mincing around his new home.  Sitting up, munching on nuts, sipping water…  and completely oblivious to the silent being moving slowly out from under a rock ledge behind him…

The serpent hadn’t escaped that day in the sun.  She’d gone into hibernation.  And now she was awake, very hungry, and here was breakfast, fresh and fat, ripe for the picking.

Karen’ s screams could be heard by Neil Armstrong, who happened to be golfing on the moon at the time.

My mother’s phone rang, and she could hear the shrieks coming from that kitchen 30 miles away.

Because my parents were so far away, a neighbor swooped in to rescue the damsels in distress.  And their pup, of course.

The snake was released, the pup saved, and the ladies helped down from their chairs and onto the couches, where they were left to recover from the vapors.

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16 Responses to Prairie Dogs for Breakfast

  1. Joy says:

    OMG!!!! That’s just horrible!! I can’t STAND snakes!!! *SCREAMS AND RUNS FROM THE COMPUTER*

  2. Sue says:

    That is HILARIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would have probably thought the snake escaped too, but I can’t believe it didn’t get the prairie dog first!

    • Laura says:

      It’s not nearly as hilarious as your Knight in Tinfoil Armor with a Pink Bucket, but it’s a good story that’s been in our family for ages. (I’m STILL giggling over that image, by the way. It’s gonna stay with me for a looooong time)

  3. SKL says:

    I love this story! I don’t think there is one like it in my family – fortunately or unfortunately!

  4. Ellen says:

    Great story! Does poor people, watching that snake coming underneath that rock…brrrrrrrrrr…..

  5. mssc54 says:

    ROFL!!!! Ya gotta love nature at work. So the poor starving snake was let loose without anything to eat? How sad, poor thing prolly slithered away and perished from lack of food.

    • Joy says:

      Oh ya, that’s what I was thinking. “poor snake!” I was thinking of “poor Phyllis and Karen.” Gawd, I’m still thinking OMG!

    • Laura says:

      I’m sure “Queenie” did juuust fine… likely they turned her loose in a prairie, and she was dining on field mouse a short time later.

  6. Karen Joy says:

    Ditto what Joy said!I had to scroll down right away so I wouldnt see the snake,couldnt read the lines above the pic,lol!I HATE SNAKES!Awesome story though.How long was that terrarium in the crawl space and the snake in hibernation?

  7. Nikki says:

    Ohhh MY!!!!!! I would have been long gone!!!!!! I’m glad the snake didn’t get the pup!!!! What a story though!

  8. starlaschat says:

    I can’t believe Joy would have a snake on her blog! I was so shock I had to stop reading. OK now I’ll pop up and read. It’s like me having a video of a dentist. UGG. By the way I’m going to have to face once again my dentist fear. Speaking of fears. UGG.

  9. starlaschat says:

    I actually really like family stories I think they are the best kind. That was cute after I got over seeing the snake. :+)

  10. Jenny says:

    ISH Snakes!! There is no way I would EVER have a snake in the house, on purpose that is! I would’ve freaked out. gross!!!


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