It's some kind of omen, right?
On an unassuming Sunday evening in late September, in Taylorsville, North Carolina, Jeannie Wilson came across a potential harbinger of doom. A two-headed serpent had found its way inside her house and was slithering within her sunroom—a room that just prior had been filled with friends and family, a room that should have been some sort of sanctuary.
Could this reptile signify something ominous? Could it be a sign that 2020 isn't through with us yet?
Actually, it was just a harmless, tiny rat snake that she would later find out was only around four months old.
"The first thing I thought was, ‘Oh gosh, something has stepped on you and mashed your head,'" Wilson said in an interview. Once she got a better look, however, she realized that the snake had two heads.
Rather than shoo the creature out the door or kill it on the spot, Wilson decided to take it in and find a home for it. She named the curiosity "Double Trouble" because, well, two heads—and took it to the Catawba Science Center in nearby Hickory, North Carolina.
Courtesy of Jeannie Wilson (Facebook)
According to CTV News, the center confirmed that Double Trouble was indeed a non-venomous rat snake which Wilson described as "very gentle to handle" and was not aggressive. The mutation that causes the dual heads is not unheard of but is thought to occur in only one out of every 100,000 rat snakes.
After sending out the call on social media, Wilson was contacted by a snake wrangler who was interested in purchasing Double Trouble for his son. Wilson said that the proposition "just felt right" so after picking up the snake from the Science Center, she delivered Double Trouble to his new home.
In case you were wondering, the significance of a two-headed snake is varied. It's been used as an insult to describe a hypocritical or backstabbing person. It's a symbol of strength used by King Mbuembue, ancestor of the Bamum people in Cameroon (central Africa). It has also been seen in Aztec and Mixtec cultures—carved or engraved, or in wood and turquoise, which may look familiar.
Photo of an aztec double headed serpent turquoise chest ornament at the British Museum
But the symbolism that pops up most often in terms of snakes in general is the idea that they represent growth and rebirth. Snakes molt, shedding their old skins as they get bigger, and that imagery has been tied to the notion of being "reborn" or starting anew. Now that's a positive omen we can hope for as 2020 begins to wind down.
What would you have done with Double Trouble? Have you ever seen a two-headed snake? Any myths or prophecies I failed to mention? Let us know in the comments!