Mr. Pearce’s Snake


“I am an immigrant teenage python in the United States. I was born in Wuhan, China, a tiny city home to just a few thousand snakes. And I’ve always felt different. My parents always said I was a special snake, for always having so much energy and a special glow to my scales.

It was just a few months ago when I was transported from one side of the world to another, being captured in the forest and sold in a seafood market, and ending up on a boat to the United States. It was a rough ride to the US. While I didn’t get seasick on the ride here, I did notice some of the sailors get seasick. They started coughing whenever they came near me, and later began wearing masks when we neared shore. 

Soon enough, I ended up in a pet store down the street from this high school. I was put in a new environment with other snakes. And we had fun together for the two weeks I was there. We played around and swallowed mice and snuck out at night to see the other animals. There were snakes from all over the world, from Africa, from Europe, from Canada, from Mexico, from everywhere. We networked and talked about our life experiences. But soon, the other snakes started dying. They were nearing that age where snakes started to die, and I soon was one of two snakes left in the tank, the other snake being a newborn from South America.

Unfortunately, my experience at the pet store was also short-lived. Last week, a surfer bro came up to my tank, and took me away to his science classroom. That’s when my loneliness really set in. From that day on, I observed the minds of little kids. Little kids doing lab experiments, stabbing mice (that’s my food!), and throwing planes at each other. But soon enough, the kids also started leaving. Some of them blamed me for causing their friends to leave. But how could I, a singular snake in a tank, cause the humans that captured me in the first place, to disappear? I’m just a lonely snake in a new world, surrounded by creatures who don’t seem to get me. No one ever wants to touch me, and no one dares step near my tank.

I just don’t understand it. My owner has started talking to me more lately, usually about a virus that originated from an exotic animal. He told me that he would have to bring me home soon, because the school was also closing down. But lately, he has started coughing too, and I wonder why humans act so strangely near us snakes. Why does everyone cough around snakes? Why are they so afraid of us? I may never know.

I sometimes wish I avoided that net in Wuhan. I could’ve ended up in a much better place if I did. I would be able to still be with my family, still play around in the forest, still be able to eat fresh food and drink Corona beer. But now, I’m just a lonely python in a strange world ruled by creatures that only want to make my life worse.”