no shoulders? no thank you!

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Snakes and I do not get along.  I’m not ashamed to say it.  Poisonous or not, it doesn’t matter.  I don’t like them at all.

For the most part, I am an animal lover.  Dogs.  Cats.  Cows.  Anything that would live in a barn.  Birds.  Rabbits, squirrels and chipmunks.  Lizards.  Frogs and turtles.  Everything but snakes.  I do love the snake in the Jungle Book but somehow I don’t think that counts.

I’ve had a few good experiences with snakes but that still hasn’t changed my mind.

When I was in junior high, I volunteered at a now-defunct children’s museum.  It was hands on and we had a lot of animals.  I went through the extra training so I could get the animals out for visitors to touch.  We had an opossum named Sassafras, a hedgehog, a tarantula and an iguana.  We also had Sneakers, the snake.  I got that snake out all the time.  I don’t know how but I held that snake at least twice a week without breaking a sweat.  Then again, Sneakers had never bitten anyone that we knew of.  Maybe that was enough to calm my fears.

The next close encounter was just a few summers ago.  I was pregnant with my 3rd child and I had planted a huge bed of impatiens and hosta in our back yard.  Every morning around 7, I would go out to water the flowers and have a few moments of quiet before everyone else got up.  Of course we had a snake that took up residence in that flower bed.  I can’t say that I blamed it.  It was cool and damp and stayed shady most of the day.  Ideal snake grounds.  The girls named it Sally (they named every living thing in our yard Sally that summer).  Sally and I had an agreement.  She knew that every morning I was going to water the flowers.  If she didn’t want to get wet, she needed to move.  I agreed not to shriek in terror or beat her with the hose as long as I knew where she was.  Over the course of the summer, Sally tripled in length and girth and seemed to be content.  I was almost happy with the snake.  Maybe those pregnancy hormones were kicking in.  I felt good that I had provided a happy home for another living thing.

Despite these good experiences, I still freaked out a little yesterday at the sight of a 4 – 5 foot black snake near the sidewalk.  It made my skin crawl.  Yuck.  I don’t have anything against snakes.  I know they will leave me alone.  But that doesn’t mean I have to like them….

Robert doesn’t help either.  I walked in the door from the bus stop this morning (after giving myself a headache watching for that stupid black snake all the way home) and Robert announces from our screened porch that he just saw a water moccasin swimming in the lake behind our apartment in the same spot where we feed the ducks.

Oh, hiss….

our local black racer