The Black Lace Story
Dan Wolfe | 12937 views
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.
In 2008 one of the 2004 Black Lace girls, now a lovely young woman in her own right, fell in love with a dark and mysterious Mystic male. The union produced 1.1 Mystic Het Black Lace and 1.1 Het Black Lace. Although not extreme in appearance, all the babies were definite visual Black Lace hets. Last year, 2010, we bred the male Mystic het Black Lace to two het Black Lace females and were fortunate enough to produce 2.2 Black Lace, 2.0 Mystic Black Lace, and several Black Lace hets. This was cause for great celebration! Even the lowliest of peasants threw down his axe and plow to join in the festivities! We were excited to have finally gotten our Black Lace males!
It's been a long slow process to get where we are today with this project, but we now expect things to progress much more quickly. Since the first babies hatched in 2004, we've received tremendous interest in the Black Lace, and to date, we have not parted with any of these animals. From the beginning, we made the decision to take it slowly, and to ensure the project gets a sound and solid footing before bringing it to market.
This year, 2011, we are not breeding for homozygous Black Lace offspring, but instead, have decided to outbreed to some other morphs, so that we not only expand the genetic base of the project, but also add new and exciting genes into the mix... killing two birds with one proverbial stone. Next year with our 2010 Black Lace males ready to breed, we hope to be able to offer heterozygous offspring, and perhaps a few homozygous Black Lace to the market, as well. We’ll wait expectantly, to see what the Easter Bunny, the Great White Stork, and the most generous Ball Python Gods bring us.
Meanwhile, I continue to remain perplexed about the humble beginnings of this project. It still makes no sense to me that we produced the first Black Lace from a Pastel male that did not visibly carry the gene. Nor did any of his other babies, from other females, have any resemblance to the mother of the Black Lace or her offspring, and have not themselves ever produced offspring having Black Lace characteristics. Equally mysterious is the fact that the Pastel male, having fathered 43 babies, never produced a single male. Regardless of how the Black Lace came into being, with the results of the 2010 breeding season, it is obvious that the Black Lace is a genetically reproducible trait, and one that follows a predictable pattern for inheritance. Initially I assumed the Black Lace to be recessive. However, at this point, I have seen enough of them that I feel that I can visibly discern most, if not all, of the heterozygous animals... so there is definitely an argument that it might be better classified as co-dominant.
And so, in the end, the Black Lace, although mutants and differing in appearance from the greater populous of the kingdom, were eagerly accepted and offered distinctive designation, with a highly coveted status. Great peace and prosperity reigned throughout the land, and the beautiful, noble Ball Pythons known as Black Lace went forth and multiplied, having many babies, most being double and triple morph combos. And, most assuredly, they all lived happily ever after.
2010 Black Lace
2010 Mystic Black Lace