LOUISE: Snake!

snakeOkay, I was minding my own business, getting my son, Jay, set up to watch TV, having removed the orthopedic boot he was wearing for a stress fracture. Afterwards, I opened the back door, as is my daily routine, to let in the morning light when what to my wondering eyes should appear on the threshold of the doorway but a SNAKE! No, I was not wearing my SUPER MOM shirt as in years past when a large, black serpent sidled up to our patio door then disappeared into the monkey grass.

Having three young ones at home at that time, I yanked on my boots and grabbed a garden hoe to go search out the creature. Not sure how to kill a snake with a gardening tool but that’s what my mama always used on the farm to kill such creepy critters when I was growing up. It seemed fitting that I was wearing the SUPER MOM shirt the kids had given me for Mother’s Day. Now I had to prove I was one. Thankfully, my husband drove up and saved the day after staring at me in disbelief and laughing himself silly over my appearance. Thank goodness there were no cell phones to snap pictures in those days.

So here I am, years later, and faced with another cold-blooded creature. I slammed the door shut, feeling certain that would save us from the reptile, but no, the skinny serpent started slithering in under the door. I grabbed Jay’s walker and pushed the wheel up against the snake’s shiny black body then ran to the garage for a weapon. A one-inch cube yardstick that I once used to kill a mouse seemed appropriate. Okay, there was a hatchet close by so I grabbed it too.

Back in the house, I still see part of the snake’s body squirming under the door. I think maybe I can just let him outside if I can open the glass storm door, so I gently, gradually open the wooden, inside door but the snake disappears. I can’t see it on the threshold anywhere. Oh dear, what happened? Did I squish it with the door? Did it escape? I have no shoes on so I can’t stomp on it if it’s near me. Where did it go? Yikes, it’s in the house, crawling along the wall and corner behind the door.

Oh no, I must save my son who is stuck in the recliner. I grab the yardstick and poke at the snake. He is not enjoying this—neither am I. Blood pressure rising, heart palpitating. Deep breaths! Deep breaths! Guide the snake back to the doorway. He quickly slides through the opening, past the threshold, out of the house and onto the deck through a tiny opening in the bottom corner below the storm door.

I grab a can of ant spray—the only thing I have on hand—and shower the threshold with it, hoping it will discourage snakes. Then I slam the door shut and lock it. Right, the lock means nothing to snakes, spiders and scorpions but made me feel better. “��Whew! I’m exhausted!

Did you ask how long, how big the creature was? Hmmm, about a foot long and as big around as a pencil. Solid black with a red ring around his neck. I look it up on Google. As I read about the common, non-poisonous ring-neck snake, I can almost hear Alexandria, my seven-year-old, curly-haired granddaughter and little snake-catcher say, “It’s a friendly snake, Grammi-Lou.” Well, for my sake, we hope so. Actually for the snake’s sake too, because if it returns, the yardstick will not be my weapon of choice! “��”��

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