Monday, April 1, 2013

Snakes. Why'd it Have to be Snakes?

The Girl is home sick today with a little something I like to call toomuchEastercandy-itis. The symptoms are waking up at 5:30 and puking and then getting miraculously better from watching Spongebob, eating Goldfish crackers, and sipping Diet Sprite. Oh, my bad, Sprite Zero. As she was relaxing on the couch, I looked outside and almost threw up myself when I saw this bad boy sunning himself on our deck:

HOLY CRAP, right? 

I don't know a whole heck of a lot about snakes (other than I can't stand them), but we have a dozen books on reptiles because the Boy was briefly obsessed with the darling little creatures. So, while trying not to freak out the Girl, I grabbed one of his snake books to try to identify the type of snake that chose our deck for its morning sunbathing. I narrowed it down to either a Puff Adder or a Copperhead; but since Puff Adders are native to Africa, I was pretty sure it must be a Copperhead. This was not good news. 

At this point, the Girl roused herself from television and saw that I was silently freaking out. Then she saw the snake and we both started not-so-silently freaking out together. 

Girl: What are we going to do?
Me: I'm trying to figure that out. I guess I need to call someone?
Girl: But what if it leaves before they get here and then it's in our YARD??
Girl: You should call Daddy.
Me: Ummmm...

The K doesn't do snakes. I learned this about seven years ago when we were visiting the K's parents in Mississippi. The Boy's bedroom was in the basement. On our first night there, I opened up the closet door to get his pajamas, and there was a little gray snake coiled in the corner of the floor. I slammed the door shut, and did what to do if you grew up in New Jersey and have never seen a snake outside of a zoo: find someone else to deal with it. I told my snake story, emphasizing that it was a very small snake, and immediately the K and his father set out to solve the the same way I had, by delegating it to someone else. My father-in-law called the police to save us all from the slithering monster. 

Two nervous looking police officers showed up in a matter of a few minutes. I'm pretty sure they were wishing that we called them to get rid of a drunk Ole Miss frat boy in the closet instead of a snake. But, they went forth bravely and headed down to the Boy's bedroom to find the snake. One of the officers slowly opened the closet door and then started to laugh. He leaned over and picked up the snake, pinching its head between his thumb and forefinger. The snake immediately curled around the policeman's finger and gave him a kiss on the cheek. Well, maybe that's not true, but the snake looked much less intimidating:

This snake is about the same size as the
one in the closet.
Since the snake on our deck was an actual snake and not a glorified worm, I was fairly comfortable that the K would not want to tangle with its removal. 

I decided that I had two choices: call the police or deal with it myself. I remembered when I was about 15, we visited my grandparents in Florida and Grandaddy had to go kill a snake that a neighbor lady found in her yard. My 80-something year old grandfather got a hoe and hacked the head off the snake. Mom said he had to kill snakes all the time, growing up in rural Arkansas (is that redundant?). I decided that I must have some of that snake-killing blood in my veins.  I was just about to get some kind of rake, hoe...something, from the shed when a miracle on four paws saved me the trouble. As the Girl and I stood by the patio door screaming, a neighborhood cat bounded across the grass and pounced on the snake. The snake tried to strike the cat a couple of times, but in the end, the snake didn't have much of a chance:

Gah! Thank goodness I didn't have to hack it apart with a rake. I'm not sure I liked my chances. Anyway, an exciting morning here at our house

I hope you all have had a good day and that you haven't fallen prey to any April Fool's Day jokes. Or, should I say to any other April Fool's Day jokes.  


  1. so, probably not surprising that this freaked me out a little...i don't want to see a snake like that unless it's behind glass!!

    i asked a high school friend--who is a reptile guy (raised them, educates, etc.) He said it is a brown water snake and though they typically shy away from humans, the could bite (but they aren't would just hurt). He said typically they don't want to be around humans and a simple brush with a broom will send it scurrying away. I asked b/c I'm assuming this fella wasn't all by his lonesome (shudder)...

  2. The snake in the cat's mouth is clearly not the same snake as pictured on the deck. Significantly smaller.