A few months back, my three-year-old boy was looking out the window when he started calling “Pigs, Mommy. Pigs!” I ignored him for a few minutes, but finally it hit me I oughta see what had him so worked up. And darn if I didn’t look outside to see our 200-lb pig trotting around our yard, well out of the designated pig zone. I share that with you to tell you this: I really should have paid more attention when the same kid stood in our family room chanting “Snake! Snake in here!”
Yeah, we’re going there.
Last week, my husband and I took our daughter out to dinner for her birthday while my mom stayed at our house with the five younger kids. And y’all, I don’t know if she will EVER come back! (Okay, that’s not true. She’s been here already, but stop killing my drama, wouldya?) Anyway, there we sat—the H, the kid, and I—munching on our shared appetizer, when I get a phone call. It’s my mom, and she’s talkin’ crazy, blabbering in shrill tones about a snake in the house.
I played along. “Okay, well, get it out.”
“WITH WHAT?” came the reply.
I put down my piece of Texas Rose and started wishing I’d ordered that stiff drink. “You’re serious?”
“YES, I’M SERIOUS.”
Now, let me interrupt a bit to say the background on her end was quite loud, and only partially due to her distress. There were, after all, five kids in the house with a real snake. Not an escaped pet, mind you, but an actual how-the-H-did-that-get-in-here SNAKE. So between being yelled at over the phone and National Geographic-type flashes of reptiles slithering over me while I slept, I got a little bit loud. As it were, my end of the conversation sounded something like this:
“Just get rid of him. … Use a shovel – whatever you have to do. … Just make him disappear. … I WANT HIM GONE WHEN I GET THERE.”
…At which point people are looking and my husband is trying unsuccessfully to shush me. He’s equally unsuccessful in his bid not to freak-the-H out because he despises snakes with an unholy passion.
So, what happened, you ask? Depends on who’s telling the story. My boy, 10, said he was half asleep in my H’s chair when boy8 alerted him to something newsworthy in the opposite corner of the room. Boy8 claims he had “walked” across the room to “sit nicely” on the ottoman in the corner, at which point he looked down between the ottoman and the wall and saw the snake, which was scowling back at him.
Alrighty … sure.
Boy10 counterclaims boy8 went running across the room and jumped on the ottoman, at which point he reversed directions pretty quick, then alerting boy10 to the intruder. (Guess which version I believe.)
News spread quickly. The baby was already in bed, and boy3 and girl5 went urged to “Run for high ground!” (They were later found asleep on a top bunk … after we got home and asked where they were, mind you. Until then? Forgotten.)
At some point—and I’m guessing it didn’t take long—my mom ended up on the coffee table. During one of her phone calls I remember something about “I am NOT touching the floor!” so I wasn’t inclined to believe her version of not standing on the table not screaming.
Back to the snake, though. He was a big ‘un, between 3.5 and four feet in length. He was also a happy guy, considering he had a fat spot in his belly we can only assume was a mouse. Or, you might say he was an unhappy guy with the circus erupting when surely all he’d done was crawl into a corner to digest.
The snake, of course, did what snakes do, which was to slither into the most epically impossible place from which to retrieve him: the closet. With this bit of news, my H radiated sucktastic. (He’s not, as you’ll recall, a fan.) As my steak grew and grew in my throat (snake and mouse? major heebie jeebies here) he lamented having to spend his evening digging through the closet, pulling why-did-we-keep-thats out piece by piece just waiting to uncover a snake. One hopefully cowering rather than lunging.
But, alas, it was his night. Boy10 was on the job, and while boy8 provided support, concern, and commentary (helpful things like “Don’t let him bite you!”), boy 10 managed to wrangle the snake into a box. No blood was shed, and what turned out to be a humongous king snake is now free to digest critters anywhere but inside my house. We hadn’t even finished our steaks when the call came that the snake had been captured and awaited our return in a cardboard box outside the house. My mom came down off the coffee table, later assuring me the roost was simply for the view.
Ah, but the story doesn’t end there. No one thought to video the debacle, but my mom did manage a few blurry pics from her cell phone in between screams, including one or two of boy10 actually holding the snake. I lamented not having photos of the capture (which involved a broom and a large cardboard box, and, as my H suspected, emptying the closet one item at a time). It was at this point my mom was kind enough to show me what she’d taken. Boy10 was not pleased to have been caught holding the snake, considering he was told never to touch one without permission, but he was quick to brag about his handling skills once the proverbial cat was out of the bag.
If only we were talking cats.
You see, several months ago girl12 swore she saw a snake in the kitchen. The darn thing disappeared into thin air, so we eventually misplaced the thought of it. Now we are left with a couple of alternatives, neither of which is the least bit appealing: is it the same snake, or have we had two such visitors? EEP.
And then there’s this: remember the snake had a mouse-sized lump in its length? I HATE MICE. I’ve lived in the country my entire life, so you’d think I’d be used to the little suckers, but I seriously can’t stand them. The DAY AFTER the snake incident, I saw a mouse. Effen hell. I immediately called my husband in from his shop to inform him I was going to die, but when he walked through the back door he was anything but sympathetic. In fact, he had a huge grin on his face.
And the nerve to throw his hands out to the side and say “Hey, you wanted to get rid of the snake.”
At this point, I would say something clever about recruiting another snake since he wants to be a smart-arse, but less than 48 hours after the boys got that reptile out of the house, they found another critter in the driveway. I think it’s safe to say the universe made my point for me. BUAAHAHAHAHAHA!
Only, the laugh is on me. The new guy (pictured below) hadn’t eaten a darn thing.