HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » My first encounter with a...

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 08:07 PM

My first encounter with a real girl scientist.

This was back in Houston, in one of the suburbs around the Johnson Space Center.

On a hot summer day, my boys were playing in the back yard with a bunch of neighborhood friends. I was in charge of keeping an eye on them, but I was distracted inside. Can't remember what I was doing. Suddenly several of the kids burst in through the back door, screaming that there's a snake in the yard. This is Houston, we're surrounded by rice paddies, so my first thought is copperhead or cotton mouth. Both deadly vipers. I run to the garage, grab a machete and race to the backyard. I can see rustling in the raised flower beds. It's a big one, but I can't tell what it is; the ferns are three feet tall and thick. I track it to the corner. There's about a dozen kids in the yard and I feel I have no choice but to whack first, ask questions later. So I do.

One, two, three slashes, and I finally nail the snake. Head severed a few inches back from the neck. I pull the body out and, lo and behold, it is a garter snake. Absolutely harmless. I feel like shit.

I wanted to make the best of a bad situation, so I decided this was a good moment for an anatomy lesson. I grab some X-acto knives and head back to the back yard. I cut the snake lengthwise along the belly, exposing stomach, the one lung and a still beating heart. The kids recoil in horror. All save one; a little girl, about four years old. She is fascinated. She is squatting in front of the snake, mesmerized. She asks me to open the stomach to see what's inside. The rest of the kids including my sons have already moved to the other side of the yard. They want no part of this. I open the stomach and there's a couple of small mice, and a frog. She looks at them intently and asks me to turn them over to see them from all sides...

THAT!, my friend, is what a scientists looks like. Male, female, or otherwise, that's the hallmark; that insatiable curiosity.

That little girl is a surgeon now.

She may be the very same person who holds your life in her hands the next time you go to the hospital.

Pray that she is, for then you will be in the best hands. You will be in the hands of a real scientist.

2 replies, views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Reply to this thread