Rescuing Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

posted in: The Stories of Erie PA | 0

By Eileen G., August 15, 2017 — New Year’s Eve, Pittsburg 1961.  I was in my 20’s.  My husband was a graduate student at Pitt.  He came home from school and entering the front door he was saying “poor thing, poor thing”  “I fell so sorry for it”.  I asked him what he was talking about.  He said there is a pet shop in Squirrel Hill going out of business.  They got rid of all the animals except a boa constrictor.  [That night they would] turn off all the heat [and he would] freeze to death.  I said well, that’s too bad. He finally convinced me to go see it. There it was with a tree limb in his tank. I looked him the eyes. I couldn’t leave him there freezing to death. So we took it home with a large terrarium to live in.

February 9th was my husband’s birthday.  I invited his coworkers to the house to celebrate. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was the snake’s name.  They saw Henry for the first time. My husband had a towel over the terrarium.

In April I looked through the glass to see Henry.  I didn’t see him.  He had escaped. I looked everywhere for him. I ran to the door to shut it. I called Pitt to get ahold of my husband. He was working.  Three of his coworkers came to look for him.  They looked downstairs they looked everywhere.  Finally on of them looked under the radio and found him.  They put their gloves on and put him back in his home.

Pretty soon after that I bought a bag of carrots for my guinea pig.  Well he passed away shortly after.  I called the number on the bag because I didn’t know if that is what killed him.  A week later the company came and I met with them about the carrots because that’s the last thing he ate before he died.  They thought maybe Henry ate her, but I knew he didn’t because I found the body.

In August we moved to NY State, Oshawa.  For [my husband’s] new teaching job. We got rid of Henry before the move.  We gave him to a kid in Military school.


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