Some years ago, I was on my knees pulling weeds from around the Indian hawthorn in our front flowerbed. I heard something rustling in the bushes but thought nothing of it, probably one of those lizards. Tired, sweating, face red as a beet, I needed a break so went inside for a minute.
When I came back out, a snake – a huge one, slid out of the bushes heading across the yard. It was at least a yard long, if not a yard and a half, and fat – as big around as my forearm. I was considerably thinner back then. I didn’t have a clue what kind it was, but with all the children who played in our yard, I had to swallow my cowardly fear and protect the home front.
I went inside and let my six-year-old son look out the window to see the snake with orders to stay inside. In the bedroom, I slipped on my husband’s cowboy boots, they were lovely with my shorts and tee shirt, and headed for the storage building for a hoe. Fully armed, I tromped back through the house heading for the front door.
My son went out to stand on the porch and watch. As I cautiously approached the snake from behind, it raised its head and made a sound similar to a rattlesnake. I didn’t see any rattles on its tail. So I crept up a little closer, and its head rose again. By this time, my son was frantic, tugging on my clothes. “Mama, don’t do that. Come back.”
“I can’t leave it out here where you kids play. It could me poisonous.”
“Go get Mr. Byrd.” This was our neighbor two doors down. On the other side of our house was a street and field.
His advice made sense but the snake could get away before I got back. Taking a deep breath, I charged forward and whacked the snake right behind the head. I jumped back and it hissed some more though its head wasn’t cooperating now. I dashed in for another blow but the creature still didn’t die.
Hoe in hand, my son inside looking through the glass door, I headed down the street for Mr. Byrd. He came back with me and stared disgustedly at the snake before striking the killing blow.
“That’s a bull snake. You don’t kill them, they’re harmless and eat mice.”
“Well, how was I to know? I’m not up on snakes, and I was worried for the kids’ sake.”
But, being a science teacher at the local university, he was. With the hoe, he picked the snake up, carried it across the road, and tossed it in the field.
I thanked him profusely. He handed me the hoe, shook his head, and went home leaving me feeling like an idiot. When my husband got home, I got the same lecture. Go figure. You can’t win sometimes.
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Happy Reading and thanks for stopping by.
Linda LaRoque ~ Western Romance with a Twist in Time.
Forever Faithful, Investment of the Heart 5-09, When the Ocotillo Bloom, 7-09, Champagne Books; A Law of Her Own, Desires of the Heart, My Heart Will Find Yours 5-09, Flames on the Sky 10-23-09 from TWRP.