"Sid & Garth"
Posted July 4, 2011:

Posted July 11, 2011

Posted July 18, 2011


When I came up with Flatland, I most definitely had to put a snake in it, since I studied them at school and I have a soft spot for them. They get a bad rap for supposedly being creepy, cunning and evil, so Sid (who is a girl snake by the way - I decided on a unisex name because... I don't know why) is everything that's not that - she sees the world in simple terms, she's incredibly good natured and upbeat, and cute. And with that, I'm sure the whole world will change their opinion of snakes.

When we were dating, my future husband came to visit me while I was working on a research project on prairie rattlesnakes in the middle of nowhere. We were in an old "research station" which was a dilapidated house on park property, later quarantined for harbouring mice with hantavirus.

When he arrived, we were also doing a study on baby garter snakes and ran out of containers for them all, so temporarily, we had about 50 of them crawling around on crumpled newspaper inside clear plastic bags taped to the wall. Without thinking about it, we served him spaghetti for supper, while the wall beside the dining room table squirmed with snakes.

Then he came out with us while we tagged and measured rattlesnakes... after an hour or so he started to wander off, not realizing the whole area we were in was a den site. When three rattlers went off at once surrounding him, he leaped in the air and, as he puts it, "screamed like a 5 year old girl." Of course being dorky biologists, we yelled "Don't scare the snakes!" Oh and there were also black widow spiders out there too. So after surviving near death by black widows, rattlers, a wall of snakes, and hantavirus, he still married me. That's when you know you've got a good one.