Do you visit Dunkin Donuts for coffee, a bagel, a doughnut or Coolatta? Or do you go to Dunkin Doughnuts to see wild animals?
I was having a cup of coffee at Dunkin Donuts, and I noticed a young man waiting in line with something coiled around his arm that looked like a snake. I took a second glance thinking that he might be sporting some kind of ornament. But no, the snake did move. It wasn’t the garden garter snake that emerges from under the rocks in warm weather, or the beautiful black snake that makes a rare appearance. This snake was grey, at least two inches in diameter, more than three feet long and with large intricate markings on its skin. The reptile’s handler was holding it by the head. I figured that I would just stay where I was sitting until they left.
When it was the young man’s turn to order, the person behind the counter calmly reminded him that it’s against health regulations to bring animals into a restaurant, and asked him to take his pet outside. At the very least, reptiles are carriers of the Salmonella disease. The fellow’s companion put the snake in a bag and left while the snake owner waited for the food.
Back in my car, I saw the two men walking across the parking lot with the bag in hand. Were there other snakes in the bag? What else might they be carrying? They might have been herpetologists, who worked with snakes, studied them, and enjoyed them as pets. It’s through such people that we learn about snakes and other reptiles. But then, would a responsible handler bring a snake into restaurant ?
I was a bit uneasy, and happy that their itinerary didn’t include the supermarket, my next stop.