A 62-year-old ball python gave birth to seven eggs. NYT Ancient Python Lays Eggs, Apparently Without Male Help Photo Credit: Chawna Schuette/ St. Louis Zoo

My captors can’t figure out why I am gestating. They said it was preposterous. I am too old. My insides are rotting like an apple core left out in the sun. My womb is full of mutating gummy polyps, and yellow and green pus-filled cysts. The lining, now thickened, with scar tissue from my unborn. My uterus is an inhospitable host.

No males will lay with me in my true form. I must twist and turn, concealing my shriveled scaly skin…