My brother Derrick has always had an interest for all things animals. I remember as a kid my grandma ordered the magazine “Ranger Rick” for our family and I’ll give you one guess as to who was the one that actually read that magazine. It wasn’t me.

In fact I would say my interest in animals is polar opposite from my brother. I don’t even care for the zoo! And I sure don’t want a dog coming up to me and licking my hand. I think it’s gross and I think they smell. I tolerated animals growing up because I grew up in an animal family. Now that I’m an adult and I have my own family, I don’t have to tolerate it the same way!!

So you can imagine my thoughts when my brother arrives to visit while we’re in Idaho and he ushers my kids outside to check out something he has in his suitcase. This peaks my interest and I stand at the back door as he lays down the suitcase and starts unzipping it. I’m now thinking – What in the world did he keep in his suitcase for the three hour drive!?!

What does he pull out…a snake. A fairly large snake. A snake he found on the side of the road as he was driving down. Who notices a snake driving down the road!! This is the same brother (along with my father) who would point out and keep track of animals on our drive to Montana so upon our arrival we could recap all the elk/deer/moose/raccoon/you name it that we saw driving. Even when he would point them out to me on the mountain I still couldn’t see them, and heaven knows I would never notice a snake.

The kids got a kick out this thing. I was surprised at how comfortable and close they were to it. Hunter – who cried when the dog barked – was suddenly inches away from a snake! Clearly his innocence overshadows common sense. Snakes are much scarier! I watched and marveled for a while before Bennett was hungry and left the backyard hoopla.
Minutes later Hallie comes running in – Mom, I held the snake! WHAT THE?! She could see my slight disbelief so she calls my brother in so she can hold it again. (BTW- Thanks for the pictures Derrick!) So for the sake of showing me, the snake enters the house. I’m not going to lie, I was slightly uncomfortable. (However, that was not the first time my brother had found a snake and brought it into our home. In fact I can’t even count how many times he brought a snake home!)

And sure enough Hallie let that thing wrap around her arm. It’s amazing what time and age will do to you. I’m sure years ago I let my brother convince me to hold a snake. Now- I’m a little nervous to touch it’s “scaley” skin!

Small sidenote: Years ago my brother and I were driving back from Montana in a car by ourselves following our parents when he notices a roadkill porcupine. He slowly pulls over on the highway and carefully backs up. He was determined to get a porcupine quill. Because the animal had been decomposing for a while the quills weren’t pulling out very easy. He tugged and tugged. Went back to car and found some pliers and continued to tug. I was extremely grossed out by the sight and the smell was overwhelming. As I see this struggle to get the quill, I ask, “What are you going to do with it if you can pull it out.” His response – “I don’t know, it would just be cool to have.” For the record – he kept working on it until he did end up with the quill. Like I said – he has an interest in ALL things animal!