Writer: Bill Golliher
Pencils: Dan Parent
Inks: Rich Koslowski
Colors: Glenn Whitmore
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: B&V Friends Jumbo Comics Digest, No. 268
On-Sale Date: February 27, 2019
Veronica’s walking in the forest (I guess, although there’s a sign, so it might be a park…without paths). Suddenly, a man, leaning against the sign, waves and greets her. She asks if she knows him. He says no. He introduces his friend, Stanley, a ball python that comes out of his jacket. This freaks Ronnie out.
Veronica declines the man’s offer to give Stanley a pet. Betty walks by (seriously, why are these girls just randomly walking, dressed up, seemingly in the middle of nowhere?); she’s been looking for Ronnie. Veronica tries to make the introductions but doesn’t know the man’s name (it’s George). Veronica makes a bit of a joke. Betty recognizes Stanley as a python, which impresses George. He offers to let Betty hold Stanley, and Betty gladly takes him, which makes Veronica shudder.
Stanley curls around Betty’s neck and gives her face a lick. George invites the girls to come and meet the rest of his “menagerie”; he has a gecko, iguana, bearded dragon, and a corn snake named Ty Cobb. Betty says that’s very clever. She gives Stanley back to George. George says he’ll text them his address, so they can drop by and meet everyone. It sounds like fun to Betty, which surprises Veronica.
On another day, Betty and Veronica arrive at the house of the strange man that they met in the woods. Betty rings the doorbell, excited to see the reptiles. Veronica’s hoping George has “normal pets” at well. Veronica is unusually dressed up for this reptile visit, wearing a little black dress. Is she just stopping by on her way to the club? Betty’s wearing a blossom shirt (just saying).
Eventually, George asks the girls what they think. Betty says the reptiles are great. Veronica calls it “interesting”. Veronica notices mice in a cage and finds them cute. George says they’re Stanley’s next meal and goes to get him. Veronica scoops up the “mice-cies” and puts them in her designer handbag. Betty is surprised that Veronica’s stealing “Stanley’s food”. Reasoning Stanley seems “well-nourished”, Veronica justifies her action and hopes George can find something ugly for Stanley to munch on. George comes back with Stanley and is surprised that the girls are leaving instead of sticking around to watch Stanley eat live animals. Veronica and Betty bullshit a bit (especially when George hears squeaks from Veronica’s purse) and get the fuck out just as George realizes the mice are missing.
Later, at Veronica’s, she’s put the three mice in a new activity center on her desk or dresser by her bed. She lies on her bed and watches her new pets happily. Betty asks her what she’s gonna name them. Ronnie says Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.
So…you can debate Veronica’s action in this story. Personally, I’d do the same thing. Then again, I wouldn’t go to the house of some strange person that I’d met in the woods. I’m currently reading a novel called The Firebrand (a retelling of the Iliad and the Odyssey from Kassandra’s perspective). Kassandra is a priestess of Apollo and also of Serpent Mother, and she frequently handles snakes. This story kind of reminds me of it.