Before my love for birds, there were snakes.
My family moved to Carpinteria, California when I was between the 4th, and 5th grade. There was a creek about 2 blocks from my new house, and it was a paradise to me. One Spring morning as I was crossing the creek I looked down and saw a long, slender, olive green snake in the water.
Without knowing whether it was poisonous or not, I reached down and picked it up behind the head. Then I looked at it's tail to see if there was a rattle. To my astonishment there was another head, complete with flickering tongue.