Monday, August 23, 2010

Outdoor Expo

Several weekends ago we went to an “outdoor expo” that’s held each year and is made up of companies and regular folk that sell their outdoor wares- from boats to knives, to camping supplies, to deer stands. But what my 2 ½ year old grand-daughter, was there for was to see the “nakes”.

Each year there is a group of guys who bring along a pile of western diamondback rattlesnakes and even a spectacled cobra in order to make the expo a bit more entertaining. When I told her about this she wanted nothing more than to see them.

There was a four foot wooden wall with plexiglass “windows” that surrounded the area where the snakes were. Kids were able to walk up and look through these windows to get an up close look at the diamondbacks that were scattered about the floor.

I know she is still very young and does not understand everything I say, but I still preach to her not to be afraid of nature, but to always respect it, especially when it comes to an animal that can be deadly.

I worry as she observes the snake handlers as they walk around nonchalantly amongst all of this venom as if they’re nothing more than garter snakes. At times not paying attention where they step. And then another who walks over to the spectacled cobra that is standing at attention on a small table and kisses it on the back of its head.

I don’t want her to get the wrong idea so I try and explain to her in the simplest of language that these particular snakes are the ones you do not touch. She nodded her head as if she understood while mesmerized as one of the handlers picks up and forces a rattlesnake’s maw wide open with a snake hook revealing its deadly hypodermic fangs.

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