Thursday, June 29, 2017
This is a picture of a reticulated python similar to the one Eddie has an encounter with in THE LAST RAJAH. The inspiration for that episode came from my experience with “Pete” at U-Tapao Airfield, Thailand in 1972. Pete was kept in a 15’ x 15’ screened enclosure adjacent to the “Grunts Grove” snack bar where crews would go to get a bite after a flight. Despite the size of the cage, he was too large to uncoil completely. His head was the size of a saucer and his girth was the size of a football. Pete was periodically fed a live chicken. The process was fascinating. On the first day, the chicken was oblivious to the danger. It would walk all over the snake, even perching on its head. The snake never moved…it just stared straight ahead with cold, dead eyes. When you came back the second day, something had changed. Although the snake still hadn’t moved, the chicken was now in the corner trembling with fear. On the third day…no chicken! How did the chicken know on day two that the jig was up? When the war ended, Pete was transported to the Omaha Zoo. He weighed in at 300 pounds. Oh…it turned out Pete was a she!
P.S. The woman pictured below hasn’t been seen recently…coincidence?