Tuesday, September 2, 2014

From the Fine How-Do-You-Do Department

This is what I found upon arrival at my classroom door this fine Tuesday morning after a three-day holiday weekend:

Yeah. It’s a critter of indeterminate origin. I first thought it might be a copperhead. We’ve had them in the building. It’s a matter of the building being built around them out here in the sticks. They were babies. Not a big honkin’ serpent-handler’s dream. But it makes me wonder if there’s a big ‘un hiding out waiting to give birth again. Copperheads do that, you know. Give birth to live young. No eggs. I think it’s a characteristic of the pit viper family.

Upon closer inspection, very difficult with the killer stiff neck I’ve had since Saturday, I saw some legs on this little belly-up fellow. “Oh. Maybe it’s a lizard.” He was not scaly, though. So maybe a newt. The Pony, who had stepped right over him and gone on his merry not-helping-people way, came back up the hall from his locker.

“I saw that.”

“Yes. We have to do something. I can’t bend over. And I don’t want to have to discuss it with the kids every hour. Get a Puffs With Aloe and scoop him up for the wastebasket.”

“ERRRR! All right. I think it’s a salamander.”

“Maybe. I can’t see that good.”

The Pony trotted over to the pencil sharpener corner for a Puffs. Only the best for my students’ noses and salamander removal. He came back to the doorway and squatted down.

“Huh. He moves funny.”


“I guess you could say that. He’s trying to get away.” The Pony pounced a couple of times with the tissue. Kind of like a losing game of whack-a-mole.

“I hope he can’t climb out of the wastebasket. Better yet, toss him out the window.”

“Okay. WHOA! He’s not our problem anymore!”

That dead copperhead/lizard/newt/salamander took off down the hall, hugging the wall. I suppose I should have told somebody. But I'm sure he'll turn up again.


  1. Such a long tail. No wonder at first you thought it was a snake.

  2. It sounds like that c/l/n/s was hungry for knowledge. He'll join the other animals (AKA teenagers) in their endless quest for information.

    Too bad you could not have planted him in a specific place to create the most bedlam...

  3. Whatever it was, it is freaking me out. That tail is an ungodly length. Likely related to Old Nick.

  4. joeh,
    Ya got THAT right! I'm not the exterminator. Or the nurse.

    That's so creepy, that tail. Not like the short ones that break off the lizard when your miniature poodle catches him.

    I'm sure that's what he was looking for. In fact, one of my students has said that to me the last two days. "I'm ready to get my learn on." He sits right by the window where I stepped on a giant spider during my plan time last week. Yes, it was noticed. No, I did not pick it up. The kid behind the learn-on guy said, "Look at that big spider!" And I said, "You should have seen how big he was ALIVE!"

    Well, he sure ain't related to SAINT Nick! I did not detect an odor of brimstone, but then again, my head is clogged up most mornings.