Fear and Fascination
The month of October can conjure up fears of ghosts and goblins and creepy critters. On October 1st, a group of Creekside Community Members faced a fear that happens no matter what month of the year it is. They came to a presentation with live snakes in the Club House!
Mike Crocker, director of the Dickerson Park Zoo came to Campus to try and turn “fear” into fascination. He brought four snakes with him to help with his presentation. He started out slowly with the snakes tied up in pillow cases. Mike spent 20 minutes talking about his personal fascination with snakes since the age of 10. When he was in high school he had 60 in his collection that his parents let him keep in the family’s garage. He and told many interesting stories and facts about the reptiles that evoke fear in most people. The whole time he had been talking, the pillow cases had been moving…..this peaked the Community Members’ curiosity. It was time to introduce the first snake which was a black corn snake. He stayed a good distance from the Community Members to “break them in” slowly!
An interesting thing happened. As, he introduced the second snake people actually wanted to “quickly” touch it. The third snake was a beautiful red and black Sinaloa Milk Snake named Mimic. The third snake was the charm! The Life Enrichment Coordinator, DJ, asked if she could hold Mimic and she very calmly encouraged others to go beyond their comfort zone. After that, Mimic was passed around and held by several people. One Community Member faced her life time fear of 78 years! She took a deep breath, and held Mimic! She said she felt so proud of herself and of course, everyone cheered for her.In conclusion, a scary October Life Enrichment event turned out to be fascinating after all. Ironically, the humans were not the snake charmers in this situation. It was actually the snakes that charmed the humans!