In the midst of Indian Summer here in Northern Virginia, it’s so hot even the wildlife is looking for relief from the heat. I walked out on the back porch this morning and encountered a huge black snake trying to cool its long body in the shade of our gazebo.
“AAAAAAAUGH!” I screamed, as I nearly touched the prone snake, languidly draped over the wrought iron table. ”Joe, come here!”
Joe, my 15-year-old, lumbered downstairs barely awake. ”Look!” I pointed at the snake. ”AAAAAAUGH!” he screamed. I think the snake might have screamed too.
“Joe, pick it up by the tail and toss it in the yard.” Because, in our house, if it’s heavy, smelly or scary, it’s a Man Job. Joe flexed his hand and hesitated, thinking about how it would feel to touch the snake. ”What if I got you some gloves, would that help?” I asked.
“Could I wrap my hands in bubble wrap?” he replied. Bubble wrap? Huh?
Joe thought for a moment. I suspected he was stalling. ”Do we have some sort of large pincers?” he asked.
I reached for the barbecue tongs on the grill and handed them to him. He shook his head, “I don’t think that’s going to work. It might turn around and bite me.” He was definitely stalling.
“It’s not venomous,” I assured him. ”At least I don’t think it is.” I looked at the head, which seemed narrow to me. Don’t venomous snakes have big heads, to store all the venom?
I got a stick and poked the end furthest away from its head. It slowly turned around and glared at me with its beady black soulless eyes, lazily flickering its little forked tongue. I saw contempt in those eyes.
I poked it again and it gradually slid off the table, twining its long body onto a nearby chair and onto another low table. Creepy, the way it silently glided along the wrought iron furniture. At last it slithered to the deck, where it hesitated just at the edge.
I gave the listless snake a little nudge with my stick and it fell into the yard where it belonged, with the rest of the wildlife.
“Gosh, I hate snakes,” Joe said in relief. Even the manliest men are afraid of some things, and this was one Man Job I just had to do myself.
What are you afraid of? Please share in the comments, I’d love to hear about it.