Thursday, May 08, 2008

Snakes on a Plain!

If you have read my previous post, you'll know that this week is apparently "Horrible Back Pain Week." This means that all sorts of random stuff crops up, all requiring the use of my back.

Yesterday was no exception. I was talking to my mom on the phone and letting the dogs out at the same time. (You Freudians can do what you will with that) I stepped onto the porch and happened to glance to my right. A few feet away in the yard was a coiled, HUGE snake. No wonder the dogs were barking.

Needless to say I was caught off guard, and I casually apprised my mother of the situation. I said, "HOLY S**T, MOM! There's a giant SNAKE here!" Mom is so proud, I'm sure.

I rushed the dogs in, never letting my eyes leave the reptile. It didn't move and -- having just at that moment LOST my MIND -- I almost nudged it with my foot. Instead, I asked mom to help me out. "But, Honey, I've got a dinner thing in two hours."

"Yeah? Well, I'm staring down a 4-foot long snake. Just go and type 'deadly snakes that are enormous' into google for me. I would do it, but I don't want the thing to escape and lurk under my porch all summer."

I described it to her and she came back with "I don't like the sound of that triangular black head.

I think it's probably a Cottonmouth."

"Okay, so... can I shoot it?" Keep in mind that yes, it's pretty rural out here, but I live in a mini-suburb surrounded by lots of rurality.

"Yes, dear, but a shovel or axe might be better. Now, don't hurt yourself and I'll talk to you later. Bye!"

I laughed at the absurdity of my mommy hanging up like that, leaving me to deal with a hungry hungy herp, but look at it this way: My mom has that much faith in my ability to deal with... whatever. Thanks Mom!

As luck would have it, there was a dirt-rake and an axe just around the corner. So I grabbed them, checked on the dogs to make sure none were writhing around from poison in the house, and grabbed my Glock just in case. (I live in Texas. Yes, most of us have guns. USA! USA! USA!)

In my mind, I was desperately searching for the correct rhyme for this situation. "Red and yellow, it will be mellow, red and black... kill jack?", "You'll turn black?", "Put it in a sack?", "Your acne's back?" For future reference, kids, it's "Red and Yellow, kill a fellow; Red and Black, friend of Jack."

I got ready and just as I was making my move, the dang thing bolted around the corner to hide in the plastic doghouse. Well, that wouldn't do, so I pulled the doghouse to the middle of the yard, pulled the snake out with the rake -- man, was it strong! -- and lowered the axe a few inches behind its head.

Thinking my job was done, I was taking a closer look, when the body moved. It was trying to slither away! It wasn't going anywhere -- I did say "trying" -- but still, I was impressed. I grabbed a trash bag and spent a few minutes fighting my back and a headless, yet determined, snake. Finally got the body in the bag and went for the head.

In one of the creepiest moments of my life, the head turned towards me and gaped its mouth! A body less snake was trying to eat me. Yes, I wet myself a little. Now, I didn't know anything then about killing snakes, so I figured it was just reflexes. As I learned later, a snake can stay alive for hours without its body and CAN bite you and KILL you. THAT's Determination!

I won't lie, I felt pretty manly dispatching a poisonous snake, protecting the homestead and the dogs, but at one point I seriously thought about herding it to the property line. However, I had already made many overtures to the snake about killing it and I didn't want it to come back and bite me, or sue me for pain and suffering. So now I will just be haunted by the ghost of a snakehead floating around the yard.

I got on the internets today and did some research. The most probable reason the snake was there in the first place was because of the hordes of toads roaming around. These toads have caustic glands that will injure and kill the stupid dogs that try to gum them. The snake that most commonly eats these toads is... the Blotched Water Snake... a non-venomous toad-only-avore.

I believe that I removed the only thing between my house and a biblical-like plague of toads. Yeah, I feel a little sheepish.

Is the "toad-licking" craze still going on?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why have you not written anymore since May 8th? I want more!!!