We’ve had a very wet spring season following an unusually warm winter. As a result, the news has been full of dire snake warnings and reports of snakes in homes. Ugh.
Kind of everyone’s worst nightmare unless you are one of those weird people who like snakes. Some reptiles are okay – even interesting – from a distance. One or two are even okay up close. Snakes are horrible. I’m not going to apologize or try to understand snake lovers, at all. I understand, intellectually, the necessity of snakes in the whole ecosystem thing. I don’t want to exist peaceably with them. I want them to live somewhere else. If they venture into my world…they will die. They have their space – somewhere else. I have mine. I really, really, really don’t like snakes.
Last night, when my youngest went out to lock the chicken house, she heard a rustling in the leaves and saw a snake. With relative calm, she came to let me know. I encouraged her (shrieking) to go tell her Dad. There are, after all, women’s jobs and men’s jobs. Snakes – definitely man work.
Husband deftly shot the head right off of that 5+ foot rat snake. End of story, right?
Tonight, youngest daughter quietly suggested that it might be my turn to shut up the chickens. Sure, no problem. Son bravely volunteered to accompany me armed with his sword: A Dunedain chieftain’s longsword that was used by Aragon. Not the actual sword, but a replica. Inwardly I was laughing at him. As I was locking up the chickens, he asked why we had left the snake in the netting surrounding the chicken yard.
I replied that the snake had been thrown way across the yard to be part of the ecosystem – to be eaten by some kind of predator farther up the food chain.
He replied that this had obviously not happened as the snake was right there in front of him.
Sure enough, there was another snake.
Oldest daughter comes to the rescue with the shotgun. Son and oldest daughter argue over who will shoot the snake. I will spare you the ensuing lengthy discussion (argument) between siblings. Oldest daughter shoots snake with the double barrel shotgun. Son claims she missed and she claims she winged him. To be fair, the snake had a very small head. It was dark. It is unclear whether she mortally wounded the snake. Son hacked at the snake’s head with his sword. Son’s friend removed the snake’s head with a bowie knife. I’m pretty sure the snake was dead at that point.
During this process, I have called husband at work. He is listening to the play-by-play commentary by youngest daughter as she sits in the house watching through the window.
He repeatedly asks what kind of snake it is. It was hard to tell at this point. Remember, it was dark outside and the snake was not in one piece anymore. Closer examination of the corpse revealed it to be another rat snake.
A cleansing ceremony with fire has completed the evenings’ events. The snake has been doused with lighter fluid, cremated and finished off with a fire extinguisher.
Oldest daughter is online looking for ways to discourage snakes from taking up residence around here. A brainstorming session came up with numerous possible solutions including ordering mongoose urine online. I’m encouraging further research.
- a snake
- more construction left-overs
- a shirt
- a pile of cardboard boxes saved for some unknown future use
- a bowl