Cold-blooded Nightmare For Sale

Pythons Tend To Grow On You, Mother Finds

January 13, 1991|By Daniel P. Clemens Jr. | Daniel P. Clemens Jr.,Staff writer

SILVER RUN — The holidays are history, but you still can find that unusual gift for the person who has everything.

And you most likely won't find this gift at any after-Christmas sale.

If you're serious about endearing yourself to that special someone, why not do it with a lovable 4-foot python named Nightmare?

And, heck, if you find a limbless reptile irresistible, keep her for yourself, says 15-year-old Jason Martin, a Silver Run resident who's trying to sell the creature.

This is no ordinary python like you'd find in a pet shop, he says.

Nightmare's selling points include a custom-built cage, complete with a pie tin for water and an old, craggystick that enhances her jungle setting.

The beast is "tamed," says Jason, meaning she actually likes people and doesn't mind being cuddled, unlike un-housebroken snakes.

And she even comes with a roommate -- a peppy white mouse Jason calls, uh, Supper. But act now, because Supper's days apparently are numbered.

Jason, a sophomore at Westminster High, concedes that Nightmare is a far cry from the traditional house pet.

"You can't really take it out jogging or anything," he says.

But even his mother Gail, who wasn't wild about ol' Nightmare when Jason first brought her home, says the reptile kind of grows on you.

"I was so scared when I saw it, I screamed so loud I had laryngitis for two days," she says. "But it's like having an aquarium. You can just sit there and watch them for hours because they'reso captivating."

This comes from a woman who had snake dreams thefirst night the reptile was in the house -- hence the creature's name.

How much would you expect to pay for a complete package that promises years of fun, warmth and intrigue?

Before you answer, there's more. For one, Nightmare's best years are ahead of her. Someday she'll become an 8-foot mature adult. And if you don't care for her name, you can pick one you like better, Jason says. Snakes don't have ears, so Nightmare won't be confused if you change her name to Buttercup.

Now, how much would you pay for this truly unusual item? Jason's asking $300 but might be willing to deal.

You may ask, "If this is such a wonderful thing, how come the kid wants to get rid of it?"

Well, he's made the tough decision to sacrifice one pursuit for another. Jason, a musician who aspires to be in a successful rock band,is selling Nightmare to buy a new electric guitar.

He says parting with his pet won't be easy.

"Sometimes I wonder, 'Do I really want to do this?' But I guess I could always go out and buy another oneif I wanted to."

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