1933-38 Santa Fe


Family oral history has it that during his early years after school, "Clem worked in some official capacity as a wildlife biologist. The stories were told about his reptile handling ability; once his mother came home to find the bathtub full of a number of some endangered specie, and another time he went to church with a very swollen forearm because he wasn't quite as quick as the snake he attempted to pick up by the tail - a baby rattler. There is also a story about a frozen gila monster that got thawed very quickly, but I don't think anybody got bitten in that one. And Tia (Clem's sister Helene Mareau) described him feeding rodents to the snakes he kept.

"Dorothy, Clem's daughter recalls baby crocodiles in the bathtub and gila monsters in the refrigerator Fran (Clem's wife) evidently coped. If Clem was the expert with reptiles, Fran charmed dogs, cats, and the occasional porcupine that contributed to the menagerie."
Source: Mark Hull

"Clem did keep snakes in the house, and I'm sure Morry aided and abetted.  In Chevy Chase a maid quit the household on finding a blacksnake in the laundry tub.
 
"Dad said Clem was the first to breed a certain species of rattlesnake in captivity.  I think he said "tiger rattler."

"At one point Clem wrote to a noted herpitologist saying that he had found examples of a species of rattlesnake supposed to be extinct.  He was quite sure, having counted the scales on the head, etc.... but the noted guy wrote back saying it was impossible.  So Clem put a half dozen of them in a gunny sack and mailed them to the expert.  Live.
 

"The frozen gila monster story, in Dad's version, goes like this.  The reptiles weren't actually frozen, just hibernating.  Whether C. had let them hibernate in the Frigidaire, I don't know.  Anyway, it was time for them to stop doing that and Clem, with Dad helping, brought them outside to revive.  They were each standing there in the sun with a lizard in one hand, chatting, when the lizards woke up.  Clem dropped his, turned, and slapped Dad's hand out from under its load, letting the gila monster fall to the ground. "

Source: Walter Hull, Morris' son-Clem's nephew

"Indeed, in later years the Hulls kept porcupines as household pets. Charley- a female porcupine, made a gentle and affectionate pet, emitting extremely endearing vocalizations, and was entirely safe around a household of seven children, dogs, and various other pets. Their only annoying flaw was a propensity to chew things wooden - possessing teeth which continually grew and thus instinctively disposed to chewing in order to wear them down."
Source: David Hull

"I recall taming a large purcupine that I named 'Charlie'. She used to crawl
in bed with me at night. I tamed her by hand-feeding her carrots and corn on
the cob. Mom and dad found her as a wild porcupine downtown one night and
brought her home. We had one other porcupine that I caught in the wild and
brought home after Charlie was gone. That one, however, didn't want to tame
and I eventually took it out and released it.

Charlie, sadly, got out one day while I was at school and was killed by a
policeman.

I remember 'talking' to Charlie a lot. One day I was elk hunting and I saw a
wild porcupine. I started making the porcupine sound, and the wild porcupine
walked right up too me and stood up at my feet! Another time I was canoeing
a river in Alaska and heard porcupines in the woods. I make the sound again
and one porcupine walked right out of the woods and stood on the bank of the
river to see who was talking."

Source: Grove Hull, as told to David