During summer camp, which was held in the old, walled garden, nestled between the buildings and woods
of Sabot at Stony Point, a bad thing happened. There has been talk of copperheads on the property, which is surrounded by woods, which in turn are getting squeezed by construction all around. Teachers are vigilant, and students who go to the school know what to look for.
On Thursday a copperhead took shelter in this hole in the wall. Owen, an eagle-eyed pre-schooler, and Sarah Anne, a teacher, spotted it. The camp teachers knew what to do, and quickly blocked off the area so the children wouldn't go near. Then we watched and debated, confirmed that it was a copperhead and not a corn snake, conferred, and finally decided what should be done. Now I love reptiles, and am usually the one trying to pick snakes up, catch frogs and toads, salamanders and skinks. But this was a copperhead (you can tell by the eliptical eyes), and despite the fact that we know he was there for good snake reasons, we couldn't let him be on the school grounds. I even called my Mom (mountain woman that she is), to be sure.
Children were mad at me...I was sad, but also felt sure. After I killed the snake, Jaya, Nora and some other children made this sign;
and circulated this poll;
I was the only one who answered yes.
Later, they forgave me and came back to the art tent. Hannah and Emma made some snakes to place around the garden to startle people, and we talked about things. Hannah said I had a hard choice, to let the snake be safe or to let the children be safe.
That was a hard choice. I'd like to blame the developers who build the "new homes", but really, it was me. My friend over at brooklynometry got it right about species we don't want to live with in her post today..."it's not their fault...nature is a handful."