Teacher loses bet, delivers scaly smooch

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Last year, principal Judy Williams kissed a pig. This year, she promised students at Grace Miller Elementary School in Fauquier County that she would kiss a snake if they read 10,000 books by mid-December.

To meet the reading goal, the children overachieved; they read 12,025 books, and last Friday was the time for Williams to keep her side of the bargain.

Williams had first thought that her kissing partner would be a common variety snake, about five feet long with the diameter of a garden hose. But some had a different vision.

The snake chosen to participate, named Serena, belongs to kindergartener Kaitlyn Shifflett and her father, Jeremy. Serena, however, is not like most household pets. She is a python, about 16 feet long and 250 pounds.

Serena only eats once a month, and it had been three weeks since her last meal.

Williams took the sizeand appetite–of Serena in stride. Although the five year old reptile was intimidating to see, the administrator said to the audience, Today is the day I keep my promise…. if you read 10,000 by today, I would kiss a snake.

When the auditorium curtain opened, the student body made a large gasp, in unison, when three men took Serena out of her plastic container and held her up for her smooch.

Williams calmly kissed the snake several times, and assistant principal Amanda Wilder did, as well. Williams has started a tradition. Wonder what animal she will kiss next?

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