When last I left you, my bibbed wearing hero had saved the day, captured the offending black monster, and gallantly taken it to find a new home nowhere near our out buildings. There was peace in the kingdom for several days. However, that peace was not meant to last. Again, I was in my studio working on two new soaps, happily enjoying the blissful peace and quiet while my bean continued to challenge her scooter riding abilities with new obstacle course set ups. We not only now required her to wear her helmet but she needed to don the knee and elbow pads as well. I’m thinking a breast plate may be in her future.
Again, my peaceful bliss was interrupted by a blood curdling scream. Again, I went running for the door only to be met at the door by my armor wearing bean. Again, she is stuttering and squealing but I was finally able to make out the words SNAKE and CHICKEN COOP! I thought, surely not. Surely this is not the same HUGE black snake we just relocated two days ago. I again grabbed my trusty garden hoe and timidly tiptoed through the grass toward the chicken coop. I was much relieved to see nothing. There was not a snake in the coop, there was not a snake near the coop. However, my relief would turn into fear and revulsion. I heard the chickens fussing near the driveway and low and behold, there was a HUGE black snake slithering threateningly at my egg laying friends. Not only was it slithering, it was striking at them and making chase.
Again, I texted my bibbed wearing hero but alas, his phone was on silence and he didn’t heed my call for help. I thought I would call in the B team, our dogs. Surely, the dogs could make quick work of this chicken striking beast. My big red crush, The Big B Dog, coward with his head down and tail between his legs and ran to the porch. He actually looked at me as if to say, “I don’t have opposable thumbs, what do you want me to do?” My next thought was our senior dog, Chubs. Chubby, who is a muscle-bound pit bull and a field vermin killing machine…seriously, you should see him hunt mice…my Chubster would come to my rescue. However, this was not going to happen because he was napping languidly on his bed, in the air conditioning in the garage. He didn’t even raise his head when I called.
As I vowed there would be no cookies before bed tonight for these two useless hounds, I mustered my courage, took my garden hoe, and walked as bravely as I could toward the great chicken eating beast. Okay, actually, it was more like a whining, whimpering, tentative tiptoe toward the foul thing. As I got closer, I saw that it was indeed the same snake that Eric had removed a few days ago. It really was a big, long snake. What I find most disturbing are the unpredictable movements snakes make. It just gives me the heebie-jeebies and makes my skin crawl. I tried to redirect the threatening beast with my hoe but it seemed to take offense and decided to not cower from my trusty garden hoe but strike at it. This, this was too much. All the while, my bean is cheering me on from a safe distance at the studio, ready to slam the door if need be. She was encouraging me to kill it. It is posing a threat. It is chasing the hens. Snakes eat eggs. What will I do when it moves into the chicken coop and eats all the eggs and chases out the hens? Then, fast as lightening, the snake made an unpredictable movement in my direction. I screamed, almost cried, perhaps dribbled in my drawers a bit, apologized profusely, asked for forgiveness and chopped it with my garden hoe.
I hate to kill things. In fact, I have only ever killed one other snake that had made a home in my basement at our other farm and I killed a suffering baby bird the dog had mulled when he found it at the base of the tree of its home nest. I also killed a bat that refused to leave our home in Brookville. After a week of being awakened by it flying around our bedroom, I whacked it with a broom. Again, I cried, asked for forgiveness, and apologized. Killing anything just feels wrong. However, when something is in my home that is not supposed to be, I feel it a necessary act.
Once the snake was deceased, I carefully carried it to the field with the garden hoe and disposed of its remains. To be honest, I feel very badly about killing it. I’m sure, it was just trying to get where it wanted to go without any trouble. Realistically, it has probably lived in our barn for years and I never saw hide nor tail of it. If it had only stayed where I didn’t see it, if it only would have taken the hint and relocated to a safer distance from our buildings. We had a peaceable agreement. I didn’t see it; it lived in my barn and ate mice. However, it broke that peaceable agreement and became somewhat problematic.
I am now very cautious about traipsing through the yard. I make sure I am wearing knee length boots. The Bean is now required to wear knee length boots…it is not practical but it gives me a sense of comfort. I now jump at the sight of the garden hose in the yard, or sticks, or jump ropes. I look for snakes everywhere and although I was not bitten, I was greatly intimidated and affected. As I finished writing Part I, Chubs must have known I was telling his tale of cowardice and shame, he had a three-foot brown snake with a darker stripe going down the length of it’s back shaking it profusely and throwing it about. I’m not sure what kind of snake it was but he had it in the yard and I’m pretty sure that’s where it was discovered.
2020 is turning out to be a very unusual year indeed. I could most certainly do without a global pandemic. However, snakes, stink bugs and biting flies seem to be the icing on the cake. I keep hoping there will be this release and everything will return to kinder, gentler, less snake filled times but it doesn’t appear to be going in that direction just yet. I keep telling myself that with the bad, must surely come the good. However, I also keep asking myself, how bad is this going to get? I try not to ask that question too often because I don’t want to challenge the powers of the universe and have them pull out all the stops. I’m just ready to not worry about my bean and her asthma and snakes lurking about. I’m sure there is symbolism here, I think right now, I am just too fearful to analyze the situation. Ah, more musings to look forward to.
Thank you, dear reader, for following along. As always, stay safe, stay smart, proceed with caution, and keep washing your hands.