Tracking The Chicken Through The Python

When I was a kid my Grandfather, who was a big-time hunter, had a friend that would go on African Safari and bring back incredible movies and an occasional live specimen. Not to mention all of the mounted animals in his gigantic home. It was like an indoor wild animal park with a kitchen. On one of his trips he returned with a 17 foot Python. How cool was that? It was on display in a glass cage lined with chicken wire at the entrance to the Lubbock high School Auditorium where he would show his movies to the public. Believe me when I say that in Lubbock, Texas in the fifties this was a big evening of entertainment! When the huge snake would give you that glassy-eyed stare it closely resembled the wood shop teacher, Mr. Blanton but without the glasses.

When the python was not on display, it was in a cage behind his mansion on 19th street. Just before he left on his next Safari, he asked me if I would feed the snake while he was gone and offered to pay me handsomely for the task. Done. How hard could this be? Harder than I thought. You see, the animal would not accept pre-killed meals. That’s right friends and neighbors; this boy had to HAND a live chicken to the world’s most intimidating snake! I recently found this helpful feeding technique on the Internet that would have come in handy.

In very rare instances, you may obtain a snake, which refuses to eat pre-killed food. It is more likely that a snake which refuses pre-killed food is wild-caught. In any case, in nearly every instance the snake can be trained to eventually accept dead food animals. One way to do this is to feed a live animal and, immediately afterwards, while the snake is still in an eating mood, place a pre-killed prey animal near its jaws until it seizes it and begins swallowing.

This is the part I love:

Next, use the “jiggling on a forceps” method to make the snake think the prey is live. Eventually, the snake will come to accept pre-killed prey without any problem. If you are using frozen mice, be certain that the mouse is thawed thoroughly all the way through; if the center of the mouse is still frozen when the snake swallows it, it can produce severe intestinal distress that might even kill the snake. One good way to thaw a frozen mouse is to pop it in the microwave for a minute or two on low power (don’t tell your housemates you are doing this).

Severe intestinal distress! What about MY intestinal distress when I found out that I was going to have to hand-feed a 17-foot Python! I couldn’t sleep for days just going over in my mind what this was going to be like. And keep in mind that in 1959 it would be another 40 years before Al Gore invented the Internet where I could get handy advise on microwaving mice for snake food. It would be another eight years before you could even buy a microwave oven.

And let us not ignore this final piece of advice:

“Never touch a dead mouse with your bare skin when you are feeding a snake; the snake may mistake your hand for a food item and bite you.”

Not a problem.

After much tossing and turning and thoughts regarding dead mice and the possibility of my being mistaken for the snakes next meal, I had to turn down the position that I feel certain would have been a splendid addition to my current resume: “Snake Feeder Extraordinaire”

So, what’s the point?

Often, when corporations contract with my company, Strategic Introductions, I end up sitting, against my will, in their weekly sales update meetings. Along with being beaten with a wet rope, this is one of my favorite ways to spend time.

I have flashbacks to my almost-snake-feeding career and picture a large chicken being consumed by a Python and slowly moving it’s way through the entire snake. It is a slow, painful and boring scene at best. Most of these meetings are exactly like the chicken’s slow death and digestion.

As the sales manager goes around the table getting the updates on everyone’s progress with various prospects, every excuse in the books will be offered up as to why the chicken is moving so slowly. Now this is where the sales up-date meeting is a lot like tricking the Python into thinking that the dead mouse (or chicken) is still alive. Let me refresh your memory on the technique:

“Next, use the ‘jiggling on a forceps’ method to make the snake think the prey is live. Eventually, the snake will come to accept pre-killed prey without any problem.”

You’ve never really experienced “dead mouse jiggling” at it’s finest until you’ve been involved in one of these sales update meetings. The goal in this meeting is not unlike the goal in getting the snake to eat the microwaved mouse? The goal of the people around that table is to make the Sales Manager think that the prey is still alive and you get to stay on the company payroll for another week! So, let the jiggling begin!

Or, just give us a call and we will shorten the process and avoid the jigglin’ altogether. trent@strategicintroductions.com

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