The other night when I arrived home from work, Nathan met me at the door saying he had a "surprise" for me. He carefully led me down the stairs and into the basement.
Nathan and Brent caught a garter snake in the yard. Nathan was so excited!
That first night, Nate and Mama went on a grasshopper hunt, trying to find what we thought the snake would eat.
When one of the grasshoppers started crawling on the snake, Nathan said, "And now he's saying, 'Ooh, baby! Grasshoppers!'"
The snake didn't budge. We watched for a few minutes and when it became apparent that the snake didn't care about the grasshoppers, Nathan exclaimed, "Mama! The snake is not going to keep the GRASSHOPPERS as pets, is he??"
The next day, he was so excited to show me that he'd put a branch in with the snake.
When I looked in the box, I said, "Nate, what's with the shoelace?"
"Ssh!" he exclaimed. "I want him to think it's a girl snake!"
We discovered that garter snakes aren't insectivores - they eat worms and other meat. Nate and Brent did some digging and once Nathan was reminded that worms are kind of.... moist... that was it. Deal-breaker for him. He didn't want to have to dig up worms to feed the snake, so he let it go.
Surprisingly, the snake didn't take the shoelace with it on its next adventure...