Friday, May 22, 2009


I'm going to tell you a secret. I don't like snakes. I know this will generate responses from snake lovers like Mary who respects the earth and the role that each critter plays in it. There's Mikey, who loves rattlesnakes. I've never been able to quite figure it out...other than that, she seems perfectly sane. I'm just not a snake person, like those two. I've gotten better about this phobia in my old age. I don't shriek when I see them anymore. If I'm trekking through a swamp and a snake goes by, I simply do a sharp intake of breath thing, and I repeat, like a mantra 'Snakes are good for the environment. Snakes are good for the environment' and I freeze until they swim by my feet. If I startle a snake in the underbrush, I do the same thing. I freeze, repeat my mantra, and generally speaking they are as startled as I am, and they beat feet (well...figuratively speaking...) while I stand there. So I've gottten better, don't you think?

Anyways, now that I've overcome this lifelong phobia, me and the snakes have set a few ground rules. They have their place, but they need to stay away from the house, because that is my place. Today, I was mowing the lawn. It needed it badly, but the lawnmower decided winter break was not nearly long enough. It extended its vacation by breaking down and requiring a part. Which had to be ordered. From some remote island, apparently. It also happened to get on the slow boat over. So the grass was tall. Anyway, I digress. I noticed a very large snake by the front porch. It was huge.

"Hey," I yelled at Tim from the lawnmower. "HEY!!!!!!!!!!!! There's a big snake out here, and really, I'd do something about it myself, but I'm mowing the lawn."

Tim looked at it, and back at me. "It's not so big," he said. I was a little surprised. I did not know that he was spatially challenged before. I'm kind to the handicapped, so I bit my tongue. This snake was huge, people. Probably a good 30 feet long.

Tim finished visiting with his friend Tom, and came back to the snake. Apparently, it had suddenly remembered that the house is my place, and scooted back to his own place in embarrassment. I was okay with this, but really, I figured that I would have seen a 30 foot snake with a red face beating a retreat.

Later, Tim and I were visiting at the front porch. I glanced over, and (I'm not joking) the snake was curling his way up around the pine tree by our front porch like a redneck Christmas decoration. This got me agitated. Like I said, I'm pretty reasonable about snakes in my old age, but saw right away that this evil creature was absolutely the spawn of Satan. I insisted that my husband do battle with the snake. I would have done it myself, but really, I had a lawn to finish mowing. I ran for the lawn mower. Somehow the lawn seemed just a wee bit more urgent than it did just a few minutes previous.

Tim got a shovel. He made a trip. Holding two fingers up in the air, he made a second trip. I didn't see that one. Two snakes, right there by the front porch, doing the nasty no doubt, procreating right there by the front porch, probably intent on creating a score of youngsters who would spring forth from the snake womb probably 10 feet long. I was just about to finish mowing when I saw Tim moving rocks with the shovel in a quick moving sort of way. A third snake?!!!! A menage a trois?! Dear Lord. Have these snakes no shame?

Later, when I finally dared to shut off the lawn mower, Tim mentioned, "I don't mind them out at the woodshed, or out back, but I don't like snakes all around the front porch. One of them was about 18 inches long."

That man is a machinist, and he cannot estimate length to save his soul. Kinda sad, isn't it?


Bush Babe said...

ha ha ha!!! A 30 foot long snake... where the heck was your camera, that's what I would like to know!!!!

And I got a giggle out of Tim and Tom. We have Bill and Ben (the flowerpot men). Are yours into kids TV shows too??

Mikey said...

Oh geez, why didn't you watch? It's very cool to watch snakes procreate. Mostly I'm trying to guess what part they're doing, cause sometimes it's hard to tell. I have seen a rattlesnake menage a trois, it was very cool.
Girl, they won't hurt you!!

jeanie said...

aaargh - not (just) at the snakes, but at the fact my feeder has been very inept in putting your posts forth in a timely manner!!! Nothing for days, then 5 this morning.

Caroline said...

Ew! I hate snakes and if there was a 30 foot snake on my front porch, I would probably move!

Debby said...

Caroline: I know. 30 feet long. I was shocked. I did not know that anacondas lived this far north. Tim keeps trying to insist that they were smaller than that, perhaps 18 inches long, but really, he's a precision machinist, and who are you going to believe...a guy who measures for a living or me?

Debby said...

PS: Er. Jeanie. I had a flood of creativity to make up for my neglect. It probably wasn't your feed.

Mikey, I'm going to be as plainspoken about it as I can be. Number one, I'm not a voyeur. Number two, oh, man I really don't like snakes.

BB, unlike some Oz people who shall remain nameless, I don't have a camera in my back pocket at all times. Further more when one is dealing with 30 foot snakes, other things (like say, simple SURVIVAL) take front and center stage. I could have been killed, and I'm supposed to be snapping pictures. We have Cara and Sarah, lifelong friends. Dylan always looks up his friend Devin when he comes home. We've got Tim and Tom. But, sadly, we do not have Bill and Ben, the flowerpot men. My kids are a bit old for kids television, although Cara did call me from college all in a delight because she had found a station that rebroadcast Eureka's Castle.

Beth said...

:0) Thanks for the laugh

quid said...

What does Tim know? Every snake I see is AT LEAST 10 feet long.