Saturday, April 24, 2010

Brown Tree Snake Adventure on Campus

YES, there are BROWN tree snakes on Guam. NO they do not hang from the trees like spaghetti. YES, they are mildly poisonous. BUT their fangs are in the back of their throats so they have to swallow their prey before they can bite it. Thus not much of a threat. Every once in awhile we find one. The last night the PIU Board members were on island, we gathered for prayer. Afterwards the Plaxton's were heading home and ran over this one just outside the gate. They only stunned it. So what did they do? Ran and found Joyce Owen, our resident snake catcher! It was fairly good sized, almost 6 ft., but still young and skinny. Everyone wanted to get into the act and touch the snake. So with Joyce or someone else firmly holding the snake behind the head he/she was passed around - none to happy with the ordeal he/she was undergoing. Here Liebenzell Missions Director, Martin Auch; Erten William, a student; Ann Choram, and Joyce pose with "Mr. Brown" For those of you from Calvary in Winston-Salem, we are on the basketball court 'you all' built, which is still multi-purpose in use! Joyce and Jen Rydzik, our remedial English teacher, are trying to give those taking pictures (there were a lot of us) a picture of just how long "Mr. Brown" was.
Kita, with white headband, and Grace touch and hold a snake for the first time in their lives. It took much coaxing from Martin and others to get them to do this. But as Kita said, "I must face my fears, I can start with this."

Then all the "campus kids" wanted to get into the act. Pictured below are Amelia, Joel, Lou Ann and Ann along with Jen and Joyce, and of course "Mr. Brown".

Finally, Marisol Farnesworth decided she wanted to try too, but after getting a hold of "Mr. Brown" by the neck she wasn't so sure this was a fun thing at all. "Mr. Brown" did try to make a run for it shortly after this picture, but Joyce corralled him, slipped him into a bag and deposited him in the faculty freezer to take a permanent sleep.

His fate is to become something useful and beautiful (all things, even snakes. can work together for good). Because of his size, his skeleton will be sought after by a local artist who combines snake vertebra and polished coral to make amazing jewelry. To see a picture of the finished product see one of our Summer 2009 blog posts.
YES Anne did handle the snake. NO, Steve didn't even get near it.

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