Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Baby Rattler keeps library lively

Sennebec, who blogs about "Strange but true tales from Libraryland" over at, has a great April Fool's story to share:
Strange, but true tales from Libraryland
02 April 2009 @ 10:06 pm


Next comes the tale of an April Fool's joke which became too successful. Most years when I've been working in a public library and wrote a weekly library column, I pulled an April Fools joke via the column. Some have grabbed a lot of people.

Last year I wrote my first one for the Hartland Library. It was a dandy, all about my old college buddy Lirpa Loof who was from some place in the South Pacific who called me out of the blue to tell me his dad, the king of Bali had died and now that he was king, he wanted to repay me for all the times I got him out of jams or wrote research papers for him back at Arizona State. He was going to move Beth and I all expenses paid to Bali where I could create the library of the future with no limit on funding.

An hour after the paper hit the street, people were dashing into the library to cuss me out for deserting them or to congratulate me on such a wonderful opportunity.

Well, I didn't think I could top that very easily this year, but read on. Here's an excerpt from my column which appeared last Thursday:
I didn’t have room in my L.A. trip article to talk about my unusual buy. Just down the road from the strawberry stand was a curiosity shop. We couldn’t resist checking it out. Beth got some great jewelry, but I came away with the real prize, a fresh rattlesnake egg.

When I bought it, I asked the guy what they tasted like and he gave me a very odd look. “Not, eat, hatch Amigo,” he said in a very thick accent. After I questioned him further and we got through the language and hand gesture barriers, I realized he was telling me if I kept it reasonably warm, it might well hatch.

What the heck, I thought. I was a bit nervous about getting it through airport security, but they were far more interested in my shoes and extra camera lens (go figure). Once we got home, I put a heating pad in a cardboard box, set the egg on it and waited. Well darned if it didn’t hatch yesterday.

If you come by the library starting next Tuesday, I’ll have the baby rattler on display.
I borrowed a baby rattle from Melissa, the young woman who helps out on Tuesday and Wednesday. When I opened on Tuesday, the rattle was in a cardboard box with a towel over the top and holes cut in the side.

I caught my share of the unwary on Tuesday and Wednesday, and since my column in today's Sebasticook Valley Weekly not only explained the prank, but had a photo of the baby rattler, I thought that was the end of the fun. Wrong, very wrong.

I was rearranging books in the basement when Angela, who helps out on Thursdays, called me upstairs.

There were two game wardens who were looking for the rattlesnake I had hatched. I had one heck of a time staying semi-serious, explaining the whole thing and telling them in no uncertain terms I never said I'd be bringing a rattlesnake into the library. I clearly said I'd have a "baby rattler." They were pretty good about it and one dad who was over in the corner, reading to his kids thought it was a real hoot.

Never a dull moment in Libraryland.

For the full article, please visit Sennebec's blog: [Source]
See the baby rattler for yourself here!

Interested in the topic of rattlesnakes in Maine? We'll catch up with that in a future post.

[Image Source]

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