Episode Seventeen: Taken: Scene 24

But I wasn’t in a hurry. “But I promised Kanesha zoo time.”

Zaid grinned. “Then…I’ll meet you back here at, what?”

“2pm okay?” I glanced at Kanesha. She nodded and we headed into the zoo.

“I like him,” she said once he was out of earshot. “Or her. Or…”

“I don’t think it matters. I mean, he can be whatever gender he wants, right?” I glanced at the sky. Our choices made us.
The difference was that my choices actually changed who I was until I changed to who I would always be. I got that now. Kanesha’s didn’t change things as much, but she could always unmake them.

“Maybe. I dunno. I kind of feel sorry for people with weird gender stuff going on.”

“I heard a rumor they have baby snakes,” I said to change the subject, steering towards the reptile house. “Baby tentacled snakes.”

They did, too, and to people who aren’t afraid of snakes, they were utterly adorable. I know a lot of people would disagree. They were little bitty watersnakes with catfish-like tendrils and they were about the size of a pencil.

“They are kind of cute. You wouldn’t think snakes would manage cute.”

“They’re definitely cute. Of course, they aren’t venomous or anything like that, I don’t think.”

“They are venomous, but they don’t produce enough to hurt you,” said a nearby keeper. “Besides, it’s kind of coded to kill fish.”

I glanced at the keeper.

Kanesha had her own question. “Where do they lay eggs if they live in the water?”

“They don’t. They’re ovoviviparous – they keep the eggs in the mother until they hatch, then they just wriggle out through her cloaca.”
That, I thought, had to be a weird feeling for the lady snake. “They’re adorable. It’s the tentacles.”

“You wouldn’t think,” the keeper mused, “That tentacles would make something cuter. But you’re right. And fascinating. They almost never come out of the water.”

I glanced at the snakes again. They were turning themselves into the letter J and wriggling a little. “Thanks,” I told him.

“Always like to see people actually take an interest in reptiles.”

He had a point. People preferred the fuzzy animals. Heck, so did I, most of the time, but I couldn’t resist the siren call of snake babies.

“I want to go watch the tigers,” Kanesha said with a grin. “Talking of fuzzy animals.”

I followed her back out. “DC summer. When you go into the reptile house to cool off.” It actually really did feel warmer outside.
“That’s just because your ancestors are from Scandinavia,” she teased.

I grinned. “That’s probably it, but whewf. It’s hot out here.” I looked like I should be bothered by it.

“Almost as hot as you.”

I mock glared at her and then we headed to visit the tigers. Who, of course, were sunbathing in piles of stripes. Who could blame them?

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