“Mom, we need to get snake food.”
I looked up to see Ruby standing over me, clad in her watermelon nightgown.
“I’m not going to the store to get snake food.”
It was 5:40 a.m.
“Besides, you didn’t ask if you could keep the snake, you just put it in your room.”
Yesterday, Ruby found a baby garter snake curled up on the sidewalk. She scooped it up and named it Stormy. Enchanted, Ruby found a small jar to put it in. An entire afternoon of reptilian pampering ensued.
“She’s dying,”Ruby said. “We need to feed her.”
We? When did I enter this equation?
“Look, I need to talk to your dad about you having a pet. You need to go back to bed. I’m not getting snake food.”
Ruby turned on her heel and marched back upstairs.
I sighed. I regretted coming across so harsh. Ruby loves to care for animals and people. I don’t want to curtail that. But I don’t think very many people would like to go to a house showing and find a snake in the closet, either.
Sighing, I came up with an alternative. I went to her room.
“Ruby, I’m sorry for being so harsh with you. You can dig up some worms – that’s what baby garter snakes eat – and your dad and I will talk about you keeping Stormy.”
Ruby considered this.
“Will you help me dig for worms?”
What else would I be doing at 6:00 a.m. on a Tuesday?
We trooped outside, her in her pajamas plus a fleece sweatshirt and me in Zac’s sneakers. I grabbed the shovel and started digging. I should mention our soil out here is mostly small rocks, and sandy. I didn’t find any worms and neither did Ruby. Rex trotted around behind us, curious about why we were on his turf so early in the morning.
Ruby didn’t give up.
“Look, here’s a roly-poly!”
She promptly brought it to the snake. Stormy no like.
As I write this, she’s huffed back outside. Ruby, not the snake. She’s looking under rocks and figuring out other food sources for her scaly friend. I have no doubt she will find a tasty morsel for Stormy.
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” – Matthew 7:7