Little Back Story:
Before I delve right on into today’s post topic. I need to give you some background info on the youngest member of The Fam, Joseph. He was, like many a boy-child born here in the Sportsman’s Paradise, a big fan of catching and studying all manner of creepy-crawly things. Almost from birth. We implemented a catch-and-release rule at our house by the time he was five. We did allow a few pets and over the years Joseph cared for dogs, cats, pet rats, a gecko, a hairless guinea pig named Rufus (oh, just imagine how cute! No.), and some mail-order larvae that, thankfully, did turn into butterflies. The rest of Joseph’s animals just came for a visit and then moved on. That list included many snakes, skinks, and lizards, one baby possum, a baby rabbit, a baby raccoon, a flying squirrel, and an enormous garden spider named Mildred that lived outside our dining room window (Joseph tossed bugs into her web and she lived there for five months). Joseph! If you are reading this, call your parents! (Sorry, empty nesting is HARD!) Back to my post.
Here’s the Disney part:
What Joe’s awesome animal finding skills mean for us when we’re on vacation at Disney World is that, if there’s a creature or critter around, Joseph’s going to spot it. Duck and baby ducklings at Magic Kingdom? Joseph will point them out. Lizard on a tombstone at The Haunted Mansion? Joseph will see it. Bunny in Epcot? You bet Joe will show it to you. All that is, and was, just fine. Until one day at the China pavilion in Epcot. Our darling boy, with no advance warning whatsoever, reached into the carefully manicured landscaping and pulled out a snake.
Genuinely concerned about the snake’s well-being, Joseph began looking around for an Epcot Cast Member he could give the snake to-hoping it could be safely moved from such a high-traffic area. I was freaking out – not about the snake itself, I was used to that (at least it wasn’t poisonous this time)- I just knew there was pretty much no chance at all that any Cast Member would be willing to take that snake off Joseph’s hands. So I began quietly trying to talk him into putting the snake back where he found it. I took a few pictures (and noticed a few random strangers doing the same), and continued to coax Joseph – I argued that the snake looked like it would be just fine if only Joseph would PUT IT BACK! Took me a few minutes, but finally Joseph decided that it did indeed look healthy enough and he gently sent it on its way up the same tree below which the snake had been found. Whew. We resumed our vacation with no further reptile encounters.
What’s your most unusual animal encounter at Disney World?