I’m not afraid of much. Except moths. They abso-freakin’-lutely terrify me. Yes, moths.
I don’t like spiders, especially those big huge things we get around here. I am not ashamed to say that I kill them when they are in the house. Outside, hey, that’s their territory and I will gladly leave them alone. Inside the house, smush.
I am not a fan of snakes. I used to be really afraid of them but watching Animal Planet with Jeff Corwin and the late Steve Irwin has shown me that they can be good things, just not near me. And, just like the spiders, they do not belong in my house.
This afternoon I am writing away, really into what I was doing. Joella was in the bedroom and the gate was up. She wanted out so was doing her “bunny hop” thing and grumbling. Mike had been nosing me for a while and I would put down a hand to pet him but I was really really really into what I was writing. Finally I get to a place where I could stop and I put the chair in reverse, pivoted around, and prepared to get my fat butt up so I could let Jo out.
And there, right there, right there on the living floor – is a snake.
I admit that I screamed like a girl. You know the kind, the one who wanders out in her skimpy lingerie armed only with a flashlight because she heard an ax murderer was in her neighborhood. Yeah, one of those screams. My throat still hurts.
Meanwhile, Jo stops bunny hopping and Mike is happy to see I am moving. He’s not freaked out by the scream at all. I try to get him away from the snake (which was kinda curled up) but he’s dancing and I’m yelling and Jo’s doing her bunny thing again. I finally get her out of the bedroom and everyone at least out of the living room. Now what?
I see that a chunk of tail is missing and it’s got some nasty wounds that are about Mike sized. Yep, my darlin’ boy brought me a pressy. Ain’t he sweet? NOT. I call Lorna to tell her I love her before I try to scoop the snake up. She’s laughing her ass off and says she’ll be home in about half an hour to take care of it. Oh, like I could wait that long? I keep her on the phone but put it down while I use a big envelope to scoop the snake up into a bucket. The poor thing was barely alive at that point. I tell Lorna I survive and to stop laughing at me.
The snake died shortly after I moved it, if it was even still alive at that point. The movement could have been just dead body twitching stuff.
I took some pictures and hit the Internet to identify it. At first we thought it was a juvenile black snake but it wasn’t quite right. Finally I found it: an Eastern Garter Snake. Harmless just like the black snakes, they are quite common around here. I gave Mike a big lecture on not bringing toys from outside into the house. I don’t think he got the idea but it’s a start.
Lorna got home and a few minutes later, she sees that all the dogs are standing around the dog bed in the living room, staring at something Mike has. No, not another snake, but a mouse. So, no, he didn’t get the point of the lecture. Lorna took care of the mouse.
Eastern Garter Snake (image from FocusOnNature.com)