Introducing Princess Buttercup

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Introducing, Princess Buttercup!

Almost accidentally, we brought home a ball python on Boxing Day.

I won’t go into the major details, but a young man going through some massive life changes at the moment has found himself in a position where he has to re-home many of the reptiles he’s been keeping the last few years. My son had been looking pretty hard at a pair of Green Ameiva in the same ad, and we had the trip planned.

On arriving, we saw that there were a number of other animals potentially available, and we wound up taking home two of the snakes, one, a young, and still quite small, corn snake of the Bubblegum Snow variety. This one was technically for my oldest daughter, who’s had a Sunglow (or possibly Sunkissed is the current common name) Corn Snake since she was nine years old and has several times expressed interest in getting a female to go with him to see if they might consider breeding so we can raise a clutch of eggs. This one happens to be a female, although she’s not nearly big enough to go in with Sonic yet, we don’t think, but we’ll see how soon we can bring her size up. She is quite cute, but has no name yet. More on her another time, once we’ve settled on a name.

For me, I’ve always enjoyed the look of ball pythons. The head shape is quintessentially snake, I think. And, in some ways, you can describe them as the perfect reptilian pet. They don’t eat that often, so you don’t scoop that often, it’s fairly easy to get their living conditions correct, they are not fantastically active, generally slow moving, and seem to love being handled, and they almost never show any real sign of aggression.

And in this case, I love the soft colors, which come out even more in real lighting. Here she is having her first bath at our house. There are still some bits of her last shed clinging and she’s too pretty to let that go.

By the time this posts, she’ll have had more than a full day to get comfortable in the 20 gallon long tank we had in the basement than she likely was in the 10 gallon she came in. I hope to upgrade to an even larger size in the near future, give her plenty of space to move around in if she wants to. She’s been in that small tank for a little while, and while that’s supposedly okay for snakes, general guidelines are a half square foot for every foot of snake to give them a little room. I feel like we the tank should be at least as long as the snake to give them space to stretch out completely, but I may be in the minority there based on what I’ve read so far. Either way, I’d like to get her into at least a 40 gallon tank in the near future, maybe even larger, with a bit of height to make her world more interesting.

I don’t know if all the extra space will make a difference to her, so long as we get all of the things she needs in the tank for her general psychological well being, but it will make a difference to me.

In the meantime, to borrow a line, she was once a commoner like yourselves, but perhaps you will not find her common now. I give you Princess Buttercup.

(Sadly, my wife does not agree that we at least need a Dread Pirate Roberts, if not Inigo, Fezzik, Vizzini… someday, perhaps. It’s worth noting that one of my daughters has suggested Pinky and the Brain for the two new additions, but that seems weird to me. They’d eat laboratory mice, so it seems a little creepy to me to name them after a food source.)

Be well, everyone.

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Lance
Lance Schonberg is an eclectic genre fiction author with more than two dozen stories published or on the way. 2019 is the year he dives into independent publishing, starting with "Thorvald's Wyrd", "Skip To My Luu", and "Turn the World Around". And he needs a more exciting short bio.

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