Mayor Stresses Importance of Reading While Handling Pythons, Marsupials

Mayor Proctor holding a python
The theme of DeSoto Mayor Rachel Proctor’s Summer Reading Program, “Tails and Tales” was literally on display Saturday in DeSoto’s Outdoor Amphitheater as the animal handler for event’s petting zoo handed our Mayor a female Burmese Python for a hands-on inspection. Photo City of Desoto

DeSoto’s Summer Reading program “Tails and Tales” Kicks Off

DeSoto Mayor Rachel L. Proctor kicked off her “Tails and Tales” Summer Reading Program on Saturday afternoon with words of encouragement for DeSoto’s young readers and with both “tails” and “tales!”

Mayor Proctor noted that the organizers of her Summer Reading Program at the DeSoto Public Library told her on Friday that there were already more than 200 program sign-ups, and that the sign-up rush normally doesn’t begin in earnest until the program gets underway. This year’s Mayor’s Summer Reading Program kicked-off on Saturday, May 29th and will run through July 24th.

One of the most popular attendees at the kick-off of DeSoto Mayor Rachel Proctor’s Summer Reading Program was this young male
Kangaroo which epitomized the entire “Tails and Tales” concept.

“Reading is one of the most important things that our children can do and starting them early will help them throughout their lifetimes. Reading lets them travel great distances, learn about different cultures, and take part in historic experiences without even leaving their desks,” said Mayor Proctor. “I urge every parent to encourage their children to read every day, especially during the summer months when they are out of the classroom, and to get involved with a summer reading program like mine here in DeSoto.”

Andre Byrd with kangaroo
DeSoto’s new Mayor Pro Tem Andre’ Byrd met DeSoto’s visitor from “Down Under” on Saturday. Photo City of DeSoto

A “Hands On” Demo

DeSoto’s Mayor and her DPL program managers also gave those gathered a “hands-on” lesson about real “tails” by walking them over to DeSoto’s pop-up petting zoo operated by Wild Things Zoofari, Inc for Saturday’s event in DeSoto’s Outdoor Amphitheatre. While the petting zoo was the first place that the event’s young visitors “flocked” to, it took Mayor Proctor to blaze the trail for the adults. Some were skittish when they saw that a Burmese Python was among the friendly creatures but DeSoto’s Mayor stepped up and under the supervision of our traveling zoo keeper handled the snake for roughly three and a half minutes.


Mayor Proctor’s “Tails and Tales” Summer Reading Program is free and open to children of all ages. For more information visit the library website at or call 972-230-9666.