Reprinted here with permission of Preston Skelding
The Snake Specialist
Written exclusively for
By his Uncle Bob
On his 7th Birthday
Copyright, June 18, 2008, by Preston Skelding. All rights reserved.
Entering the room, I knew trouble when I saw it. Coiled in the corner was a large reticulated python. I don’t know if it was way his tongue flicked the air or if it was the mean, beady look in his eyes, but I knew I was in for a fight.
Slowly walking towards the waiting reptile, I thought, ‘why couldn’t it have been something easy, like your common, everyday rattlesnake?’ Even a cobra wouldn’t have been too bad. Because there’s one thing I know about large constrictors, they like to cuddle, and when I say cuddle, I mean it. As the sweat formed on my forehead, I thought back on how the day started.
I was working on some new equipment in the snake shop when the call came in. A frantic voice over the phone asked, “Is this the famous snake wrangler, Preston Skelding?”
“Yes madam, Preston Skelding, Snake Specialist at your service”
“I have this very large, killer snake in my house. You have to do something. Make it go away”, she said.
“Calm down madam”, I replied. “What do you mean when you say this is a killer snake?”
“It just swallowed my poor little kitty cat”, she said.
I quickly copied down her address and got ready for the job. Changing into the S.S.S.S. (Super Special Snake Suit), I jumped onto the snake cycle and headed for her house. Approaching her drive, I slammed on by brakes and laid a line of black rubber. Leaping off the snake cycle, I ran up to her and presented her with my card:
“PSSS, are trying to tell me to be quiet?, she asked.
“No madam”, I replied. “It’s an abbreviation. It stands for Preston Skelding, Snake Specialist.”
Now as I stood in front of the coiled snake, I tried to come up with a capture plan. I ran through the list of techniques I have developed over the year and finally settled on one. Reaching down to the belt on my Super Special Snake Suit, I selected the button that launched the furry rat decoy. As the mechanical rat ran in front of the python, he struck, grabbing the rodent by the head. Quickly, I jumped onto the snakes back, grabbing his head in both of my hands. Fighting to free himself, the python threw me from side to side, trying to break my desperate hold.
When I sensed he was beginning to tire, I reached down to that special place on the snakes belly, known only to Senior Snake Specialists and tickled him. With a mighty retching sound, the snake instantly threw up the poor swallowed cat.
As I fought to control the squirming reptile, I glanced over and saw a very wet and matted cat shake itself and run out the door. ‘It’s a good thing snakes swallow their prey whole’, I thought as I clung to the python.
Suddenly, the snake wrapped his coils around my body and began to squeeze. I gasped for air and struggled to free myself from his terrible grip. I like snakes, but what didn’t need right now was a big hug from a monster python. I was in serious trouble and I knew it. I only had one chance. If I failed, then my goose was cooked. If only I could reach that special button on the belt of the snake suit. As I fought to push my arm down past the constricting coils and reach my belt, my sight began to dim as I started to black out from the terrible squeeze. With one last great effort, my finger finally reached the button for the SEECOBS (Self-Expanding, Entrapping, Coil Opening, Body-Suit).
With large hissing noise, air rushed in to fill the outer skin of the Super Special Snake Suit, expanding it rapidly, pushing against the constricting coils from the deadly python. As the SEECOBS expanded to its full size, it broke open the snake’s coils. Reaching full expansion the SEECOBS split off my body and wrapped itself around the snake, fully trapping it. “How about a little taste of your own medicine, my scaly friend”, I said as the trapped python finally gave in to the grasp of the SEECOBS.
Just then, the women’s husband showed up. “That will take care of your little snake problem”, I said as I handed him my card.
“PSSS, are trying to tell me a secret young man?” he asked.
“No Sir”, I replied. “It stands for Preston Skelding, Snake Specialist. He had a puzzled look on his face as I headed back to the snake cycle.
Just then, I heard the buzzing of the snake phone. “Preston Skelding, Snake Specialist”, I said into the phone.
“You have to help me. Help me please”, said a very excited female voice.
“What’s the problem madam”, I replied.
“Please come right now”, she said.
Jumping onto the snake cycle, I quickly made my way to the address. ‘What’s this one going to be’, I thought as I headed for the place. ‘From the sound of her voice, I bet it’s an anaconda, or maybe a black mamba’.
Laying a line of rubber in front of the house, I pulled to a stop and ran up to a man in the front yard. “This way, quickly”, he said.
Following the man into the backyard, I saw a huge reptile next to the swimming pool. “This is a little too much for me”, I told the man. “But I know just the guy for the job”. Pulling out the snake phone, I punched in a number. “Dad, this is Preston”.
“How did the job go?” he asked.
“Nothing unusual”, I replied. “But, I’ve got this other matter, something in your area of expertise”.
“I’ll be right there”, dad said.
As dad pulled into the drive, he slammed on the brakes and laid a good line of rubber. “What’s the problem?” he asked the man as he handed him his card:
“JESTS, are trying to tell this is funny?” he asked
As my dad looked at the huge snapping turtle in the back yard, he replied, “No sir. It stands for Jim Skelding, Turtle Specialist”.