The Snake of Kings

The Snake of Kings

The King Family of six houses Zed, a Royal Python of nearly three feet in length.

From left -- John, Robbie, Andrew, and Ashley King hold their pet Python Zed.

From left -- John, Robbie, Andrew, and Ashley King hold their pet Python Zed. Photo by Bijan Todd/The Connection

Pythons have reputations of being gigantic, ferocious, monstrous snakes with large appetites. However, this menacing outline doesn’t at all fit the description of Zed, a two-and-a-half-foot Royal Python who has been a member of the King family for almost three years.

With a surname that is most appropriate for the type of pet they accommodate, the King family feeds their Royal Python Zed an interesting yet fairly simple diet. “We used to feed it mice, but now that it’s gotten bigger, we feed it rats,” remarked Robbie King, a rising second grader. The Kings added that Zed’s diet plan is not overly difficult to maintain. He only needs to be fed once every 2-3 weeks.

Along with a rodent-filled diet, one of Zed’s most impressive quirks is his post-meal routine. Due to the fact that Royal Pythons dislocate their jaws to be able to swallow larger foods, after Zed consumes his tasty rat, he will perform an interesting body function. As Denys King illustrates, “After he’s eaten, he has to readjust his jaws, and so he’ll then just yawn this huge yawn. When he does this, you’ll see all the way down his throat.”

It’s fair to say that reptiles are not commonly one of the animal classes that families of six have in their homes. The King family, on the other hand, feels that their pet Python Zed adds an interesting and fun twist to ordinary family life, and for good reason.