My friend wrote to me recently,"I was just telling a friend about your art classes and the boa which you had in the freezer for many years.. It has never occurred to me before to ask you where you got the snake in the first place"
One evening my daughter Pennie was in a pub with her friends. In the pub at the same time was a man holding a live snake who was trying to persuade another man to buy him. During the discussion the snake suddenly died. The owner jumped up on a table and shouted out loud "anybody want a dead snake"? Pennie turned round and said "yes I am sure my mother would like that for her art class".
She brought the snake home to me, and as I did not have any formaldyde I decided to pop it into the freezer (how else could I preserve it)? It was the most popular subject for the children's class, that and the frozen squirell, pigeon and stoat...
I kept them all well covered so not to contaminate the other frozen food.
A new student started in the art class, eager to shock him the other students told him about the fozen snake in the freezer, he immediately jumped out and said "I must leave I am terrified of snakes"...I tried to explain that this was a very dead snake...but he was out of the front door as fast as his two legs could carry him and we never saw him again.
Sadly one of the 7 floods that I have suffered over the years, shut down all the electricity in the house which meant the thawed out animals then had to be got rid of. However, I had them all for many years and many people and children worked from the models.
still have in the house somewhere, a snake in a bottle (in formaldhdye) a stuffed minature crocodile...and somewhere. some ancient rats from france which were a present from a former student who had a holiday home in France. He arrived back from France handing me a carrier bag saying "here is a present for you Frances" I opened the carrier bag saw the rats and said ..."ugh!! how horrible and then in the next breath, oh how wonderful for drawing" the rats showed wonderful expressions rictus....the children gave them all names, french ones of course....depending on the look of the rats....The rats were very old indeed taken from the inside of an ancient french barn...
one flat frog and a number of butterflies and beatles....all sealed in transparent boxes
we are on flood alert yet again....