Black back Ball Python
The Black Lace Story:
I'd like to share with you a tale. It's a Ball Python bedtime story, if you will, best enjoyed sequestered away with a fine scotch whiskey and exotic cigar, and long after the wee ones have been safely tucked in their beds. For, as you will see, this story, like all good stories, has its share of ups and downs, a bit of drama, mystery and intrigue, a little romance (reptilian of course), and most importantly, a very happy ending. However, being the bedtime story that it is, and of the variety often used to seed the imagination and fuel the creation of vivid and adventurous nocturnal hallucinations, it also leaves a few unresolved questions dangling... dangling just there, just out of reach... and that may make you say, "Hmmm, how can that be?... Just what are the possibilities?... That reminds me of that time, back before the foreign legion, when I stubbed my toe that night on the clock tower... zzzzzzz".
So, here we begin.
Once upon a time, long, long time ago, back in 2004, a strapping young Pastel male courted a comely captive hatched aberrantly striped female. Later that season, her eggs hatched to produce four gorgeous baby girls. Two of the girls looked like their mother, and two had a much more extreme look to them - very dark, striped, and with greatly reduced markings. At the time, I assumed that, although the Pastel father did not look at all like the mother, he must, nevertheless, have been carrying the same, or a very closely related aberrant gene. In other words, I assumed that both the mother and father were probably heterozygous for the same mutation (Soul Mates, of course). The two more extreme looking girls were given the name Black Lace, and sent off to one of the finest boarding schools in the kingdom.
The Pastel father, meanwhile, produced several other clutches in 2004 and again in 2005, a total of 43 children in all, and oddly - very oddly, all of the children were girls! The Pastel father courted the lovely mother of the Black Lace girls again in 2005, but lo, she nary produced a single egg that year. Sadly, toward the end of 2005, the silver tongued, and quite promiscuous Pastel father of the Black Lace girls died suddenly of an infected hemipene. It was a time of great sadness and mourning throughout the kingdom.