In Borth, Wales, there is a small zoo. It’s called The Animalarium. It is not a proper zoo, it’s more like a collection of random animals. People can also come and see the vet if their companion animal has fallen ill, or they can drop their unwanted exotic pets there if they’re fed up with them.
So one day my friend from Aberystwyth calls and tells me this story. She had been to the Animalarium with her husband, and they had taken a guided tour through the zoo. There was a huge constrictor in one of the compounds, and my friends had wanted to know more about the animal. This is what had happened to the snake:
The zookeeper was working as usual, cleaning the compounds, feeding the animals, when a woman came by. She had a snake with her, I think it was a python, and wanted to ask the zookeeper for advice. The snake was ill and the lady didn’t know what to do. The python hadn’t been eating lately, actually for more than two months at that point. The lady whined and moaned about her beloved snake and told the zookeeper she was afraid her pet was gonna starve.
The zookeeper took a closer look at the animal. He took a closer look at the lady, too. He asked her a couple of questions in order to determine what could be wrong with the snake. He interrogated the lady about the snake’s eating habits in general, about where she kept the snake, and so on.
Then he questioned if the lady sometimes liked to lie next to the snake. The woman innocently answered yes, she did that, because she wanted to be close to her companion and she felt this was a good way of bonding. Often enough, she unrolled the snake to her full length and lay down next to her, telling her stories or something like that.
What the lady had considered to be quality time, the snake had spent with dietary musings. The python had figured that the woman would make a good meal. The snake hadn’t been ill; it had been fasting to prepare for feasting on the lady.