Friday, April 27, 2007

Why Did It Have to Be Snakes!!??

My mother, who is 84, came tiptoeing into my bedroom yesterday while I was writing and said in her softly sweet southern voice, "There's a snake on the patio."

Again? Okay, we do live in Florida. This is not unexpected. But of all the things that have wound up on our patio - lizards, stray cats, squirrels, turtles, possums - I really hate snakes the most. This is a typical Florida backyard. We have a pool surrounded by a deck. This entire thing is enclosed by a "cage." That's a huge steel and screen structure that 1) keeps leaves and junk out of the pool, and 2) satisfies the county pool-enclosure ordinance.

But apparently the snakes in the neighborhood consider it a challenge. I am told that they can make themselves reallllly flat and crawl in under the doorframe. Anything for an afternoon sunning oneself by the pool, I suppose.

Our options are two: Death by shovel, or freedom by broom out the door. No, there are not three options. Leaving it on the patio is not one. The kindness in me wants to sweep it gently out the door to live another day. But once it starts striking at me, all bets are off.

This one, however, scared me to the point that I could do neither. I've never seen this before, but as I approached him, he lifted up his tail and shook it at me with a vibrating motion. Exactly like every rattlesnake I've ever seen on every Saturday morning western movie.

So, we had to get the big guns for this one. My mother went inside and got The Boy. (Yes, the same one featured in yesterday's My Space blog about the picture, etc. ) First, he wanted to run back in and get the camera to take a picture of it. I should have known not to ask him for help. Finally he scooted it about six inches closer to the door with the pointy end of the shovel. This was going to take several hours at the rate he was going.

Enter The Girlfriend. She took one look at the situation, heaved an impatient sigh, and said, "Give me the broom. "

Thirty seconds later, ladies and gentleman, Snakee was running free in the bushes along side the family room. Probably trying to get a good spot so he could peek in and watch Survivor. Maybe he had a relative on the show.

Never send a Boy to do a Woman's job. Turns out, it was not a rattler. It was a Black Racer, known for vibrating its tail when it senses danger. But it is not venomous. Lucky for him.

I will use this in a book sooner or later.

Have a wonderful day!

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