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There was a woman who bought a pet snake. It was a 12-foot Burmese Python. She lived alone in a small house with her young son and kept the snake in a tank in the living room.
The pet snake had a habit of escaping from its tank. After a while, the woman began to feel guilty about keeping such a large reptile in such a small, confined space.
She would often take the snake out of its tank and allow it to roam freely about the house. Her little son loved the pet snake and often brought it out in the garden to play with it.
One morning, the woman noticed that the pet snake had stopped eating. Three days passed and the snake still hadn’t touched any of its food. The woman began to get worried that there was something wrong with the snake. So, she picked up the phone and called the vet.
“Is it normal for a snake to suddenly stop eating?” she asked.
“It depends,” said the vet. “In the wild, snakes often have to survive for long periods without food. Sometimes, they starve themselves in preparation for a big meal. Pet snakes can also get bored with what you’re feeding them. They like a change of food now and then.”
The woman took the vet’s advice and bought a new type of food for her pet, but the snake still refused to eat anything.
Not long afterwards, the woman woke up in the middle of the night to find her pet snake lying in bed beside her. It was sleeping stretched out completely straight on the bed. Thinking this was a little strange, she picked it up and put it back in the tank.
A few days later, her son was playing with the snake in the garden. The woman was washing dishes in the kitchen when she happened to glance out the window. Her son was lying down on the grass. The snake was lying next to him, stretched out and stiff as a board.
The woman became convinced that the snake was dying. She immediately grabbed the phone to call the vet again.
“My pet snake still isn't eating,” she said.
“I don’t think there’s anything to worry about,” replied the vet. “Just keep an eye on it and if it still isn’t eating by the end of the month, bring it in to my office.”
“There’s something else,” said the woman. “The other night, I found it lying in bed beside me. It was stretched out straight and totally rigid.”
“Oh no!” said the vet with alarm. “You’ll have to get rid of the snake as soon as possible. It will have to be put down.”
“Why? What’s wrong with it?” asked the woman.
“That’s what snakes do when they’re measuring you,” he said.
“Measuring me?” she asked.
“It was sizing you up in order to eat you,” he replied.
The horrified woman turned and looked out the window just in time to see her little son’s feet disappearing down the snake’s throat.
Written by an unknown author.