Some friends are better left in their very own jungles.

There was always some kind of “something” waiting around the corner when I was a kid. I was at the tail end of seven children in our family. The tip of the tail. Every so often, things would get a little interactive between the sibling-ness of our home.

On many of those occasions, I would hear, “You’re asking for it, Polly.” This always made me momentarily reflective, as there was nothing more I wanted than just to be left alone. But apparently, in asking for it, I got it. And so it would go.

I couldn’t help but think the same thing this morning, when I read the headline to this article. It said, “Woman found dead with a python wrapped around her neck in a home with 140 snakes”

Immediately, I thought, “Well lady. You were asking for it.” I don’t mean to sound insensitive or unfeeling to the woman’s death. It’s absolutely terrible. And I’m sure it must have been highly traumatic to be strangled to death by your pet python.

But that isn’t quite how it went.

My assumptions of the situation were way off. I imagined her sitting in her pink bathrobe, having coffee and eating waffles with syrup as she watched Kelly and Ryan on TV. And then one of the 140 snakes, slithering around the kitchen — the python — came over for a morning hug, and. Well.

The actual details of the news story seem highly sketchy to me. Apparently, it wasn’t even her home. The property was owned by the county sheriff. And the place was somehow “designated” for the storage of snakes. A little snake hotel, I guess. She kept 20 of her own snakes there. She went to check on them by herself, and got some of them out of their cages.

From the assessment of the scene, they are presuming it was the python who killed her. It was wrapped around her neck.

Other things seem weird too. There was a 911 call to the Benton County Dispatch, there in little Oxford, Indiana. But they don’t say who made the call, and I am certain that snakes don’t have phone-dialing-digits like we do. Regardless, this 36 year old woman, named Laura Hurst, lost her life at the hands of a…. er…., at the clutches of a snake.

I’ve always held the philosophy that snakes don’t like to be kept in cages, or anyone else for that matter. You can see it on their little faces when you look through the tiny bars. Instead, they like to slither around and sneak up on people. It gives them purpose. So. I’m guessing this death was a case of murder. Revenge being the motive.

I’m sorry for this lady, and I hope her family can find peace, eventually.

But I like to learn from others. While I like snakes, my conviction about not having them for pets is verified and validated. If it slithers, you should dither, and eventually wither — to the entire idea.

This is dedicated to my good friend Janet, who has a healthy dislike for snakes.


Fate leads the willing and drags along the unwilling. — Seneca


Trust is the easiest thing in the world to loose, and the hardest thing in the world to get back. — R. Williams


Misfortune tests the sincerity of friends. — Aesop (c.620-560 BC)