Mother Nature is a punk.
She lulls me outdoors to see the flowers and feel the breeze on my face – for the sole purpose of loading that breeze with cranium-clogging levels of pollen.
She allows beautiful songbirds, fluffy baby bunnies and swift bobcats to come into my yard – so I can see the Circle of Life Buffet play out on my lawn.
I can withstand some of her passive-aggressive jabs with antihistamines and decongestants, which not only fight allergies, but also dull my response to blood and carnage in the grass. However, she recently took things too far.
Maybe I’m overly sensitive, but I tend to get a little grumpy when someone lets a killer into my house. It’s bad manners to show up uninvited; it’s etiquette annihilation when the visitor goes hinge-head and tries to attack the homeowner.
Allow me to explain.
What’s black and brown and coils in your kitchen?
I was recovering from surgery a few weeks ago, and thanks to exceptional narcotics, I passed out on the sofa for about nine hours.
My husband woke up at 6:30 and began his usual morning routine: he opened the back door to let the dogs fertilize our lawn, he went out the front door to get the newspaper, and he started to make coffee. However, something was different this morning. I was still very groggy, but I sat up from the couch to witness a black t-shirt whizzing toward my kitchen trashcan. The sight was followed by the sounds of “What the _____?” and “Stay on the couch!”
My husband walked into the garage and came back inside with a large stick and tongs. “Okay, you have my attention,” I said as he walked back in the kitchen. “We have a snake in the house,” he calmly said. “Hold the dogs.”
Instant sobriety hit me. I stood on the couch and saw my husband use the stick and tongs to capture a very angry snake with diamond marks on its back. It violently thrashed and whipped its body around as it tried to strike my husband with open jaws. Hubby opened the back door, and like a clear-thinking woman who’s terrified of reptiles, I grabbed my cell phone and snapped pictures.
“Are you going to kill it?” I asked my husband.
“No, he’s not poisonous,” my husband said. “The poisonous ones have triangular heads.”
Apparently my narcotics kicked in again because I replied, “Okay, let him go. He’s got a snake job to do, and sometime he’ll remember your kindness.”
Although our snake initially looked like a dreaded Texas copperhead, I later learned he was a run-of-the-mill nonpoisonous rat snake – with a really bad attitude. I named him Bernie.
My husband earned a few gold stars for his man card that morning; however, this was not the first time he had to foil Mother Nature’s plans.
Kids and Copperheads
A few years ago, Hubby ran a youth camp in rural North Carolina. He was taking an adult volunteer on a tour of the camp when he heard the excited chatter of a group of 9-year-old boys ahead of them. The boys were walking along a wooded trail that led to the camp’s water front, and Mother Nature placed a tightly coiled copperhead in their path. The boys ran back toward the adults and told them about the snake. As the men approached, the snake lunged at them a few times. The other man found a large stick and pinned the snake’s head to the ground while my husband used his pocket knife to severe the head.
The boys watched in amazement and cheered the men for their victory. The group wanted to take the head to show their friends, but Hubby said no because the decapitated piece could still bite so they grabbed the 4-foot carcass and ran.
The boys said my husband was awesome, and his camp was the BEST one they ever attended.
I have to agree; Hubby really is quite awesome, and Mother Nature is still a punk.
FYI: Here’s a little video for folks who don’t believe snakes can bite after death. (This is not Hubby’s snake.)