Thursday, November 05, 2009

Stewie's Big Adventure

So ... a few weeks ago, Stewie the cornsnake went missing from his classroom aquarium.
I was sitting at my desk at the end of a class period, when two boys who were over by his cage, said, " Hey, Mr.FC, where is Stewie?"
"He's in his log, look in the opening." I responded.
"Nope, he's not there either."
"Look harder"
"We really think he's not here."
Uh oh.
I left my desk where I was busy inputting redundant data so no child would be left behind, and walked over to the cage.
He was gone ... and the duct taped lid was loose.
I had to think quick.
"I was just kidding, I took him home for the weekend."
If word got out that a snake was loose in the building, even a sweetie like Stewie, there would be panic in the halls ... and that would just be the teachers and custodial staff.
My fib satisfied the boys and the bell rang about then.
The next day, other kids noticed his absence, so I came clean.
"Kids, either Stewie escaped or someone stole him."
Everytime I feed him there's a few snakeophiles in the crowd that covet him and tell me if I ever need a home for him ... I still had a hard time believing any of my kids would steal Stewie though.
I knew in my heart it was my fault most likely. I was probably careless about resealing the lid when I fed him last. Being an arboreal snake, leaving the tank would be no big deal.
I tried to think like a cornsnake ...
If I dropped to the floor from the aquarium stand, it would be natural to flow along the wall and under the store room door into the huge cluttered walk in science closet.
Or I could go the other way and slide under the gap in the classroom door and wind up out in the hallway.
I checked all over the room, looked in the hallway restrooms, told my trusted teachers to keep an eye out for him, and dug through the walk in storage room clutter.
No Stewie.
He had been missing for a weekend and a few more days one day when I was gathering up my stuff for soccer practice.
For some reason, he had popped into my mind and I was feeling down about all the bad things that could have happened to him.
I opened the storeroom to retrieve a giant mesh bag of soccer balls and ...
He was stretched out in my classroom toolbox as if he owned the place.
I swooped him up joyfully and ... no I did not kiss him, but I came damn close.
I took his picture and texted it to Junior at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis.
Then, I placed him gently back into his aquarium and SECURELY taped down the lid with fresh duct tape.
Today, we fed Stewie a mouse in first period, and one of my brightest girls said, "Oh, Mr. FC, did we ever tell you about the celebration at the FFA convention?"
"We were in a big meeting, when word of Stewie's return started going around by text and the whole meeting erupted into cheers! Everyone was so glad to hear the news."


tai haku said...

I've been covetting stewie too. ever since i saw my first wild corns as opposed to those manmade weirdo colour morphs I've been thinking about how cool he is. glad the little dude was recovered.

ImagineMel said...

OH MY LORD. My worst nightmare. Eww Eww EWWWWWWWWWWWW.

Deb said...

Stewie is such a pretty snake! Glad he was found safe.

threecollie said...

That brought tears to my eyes...the wonder of the kids celebrating the return of Stewie so far away...that is really sweet!

Pablo said...

I'm glad it all ended well. That sure is a good looking snake. And the coda of the FFA convention cheering is the best!

Sharon said...

Glad you found the little cold-blooded fella :)

Anonymous said...

he's gorgeous. I don't think I've ever seen a corn snake in real life. I can see why you wouldn't want to lose him, even if he hadn't become a friend.

elpbulls said...

Whoo Hoo!! Glad Stewie's safe! Love ya!

Miz S said...

Superstar Stewie is safe! What a relief.

I love how you manage to slip in a little complaint about No Child Left Untested.

Anonymous said...

Did I detect a touch of sarcasim in "no child left behind"?

amarkonmywall said...

This is my favorite post for the month, thus far.I love Stewie and the whole post I was hoping he would show himself when the time was right- and he was hungry. We have our big Boyd Hill free weekend starting tomorrow and I'll be carrying around our giant king snake for two days.(Stewie is much better looking...)This post is also the perfect reminder for me to call over there and ask them to please feed him a day early (this morning). He gets a bit testy at the end of the week when he's hungry and all those noisy children sometimes cause him to bite the hand that feeds him- so thanks for that, too!

robin andrea said...

Great news of Stewie's safe return. I hope he enjoyed his excellent adventure.

Anonymous said...

What ever became of the turtle dilemma?

Thunder Dave said...

Thinking on your feet, that was a good first response! He is a cool looking snake too!

Floridacracker said...

Thanks for the well wishes.
He is one great snake and was sorely missed during his slideabout.

The turtle dilemma is scaled down to protective custody until it warms up.

Floridacracker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carol said...

Now everyone knows the teacher fibs. LOL It is a beautiful snake. Looks like one that lived in my birdhouse until I relocated it.