"Mrs. Y.! T caught a snake!!"
As I turned to see where the noise was coming from, I saw a swarm (yep. I used the word swarm) of about 15 second graders heading my way. And yes, T was leading the way proudly holding a snake. My goal was to get the snake back in the grass where it belonged and I quickly weighed my options. I could firmly tell the group to do just that, but I knew this would be met with objections, arguing and probably attempted bargaining. I know this group. They were getting closer - and more excited. When they reached me, and after the proper amount of "oohing" and "that is SO cool" from myself, I decided to appeal to their compassionate side. I mentioned that the snake looked very scared to be surrounded by all of them (in reality, if a snake could look pissed, I'd say he looked pissed) and that the nice thing to do,would be to find the perfect spot to let him go. And with that, the swarm of kind hearted second graders turned around to release the poor snake - who had most likely emerged to simply sun himself on a day that we actually had some sun.
Crisis (for all of us, including the snake) averted.