I was doing some clean-up work in the garden today. As I was pulling spent bean vines (minding my own business, don't you know), I saw what looked like a great big worm. I can be kind of slow, but eventually I figured out that it was a snake.
A snake in my garden! Under my dadgum bean vines. Right beside my hand! And, if this weren't bad enough, he was leering at me. I tell you what, that snake had his nerve, invading my garden, eating my bugs, leering at me!
What is this world coming to, when an innocent person, (who is minding their own business), can't go out into the lovely world that God has so generously created for us, without encountering bugs, rodents, and reptiles? I've had my share of these creatures all summer long; all I needed to complete the trio was to see a snake. I'm complete now; the snake I've seen. There he was, hiding under the bean vines, (which were huge, by the way), slithering along in a concrete block, looking for all manner of things to eat, and he looked at me like I had the nerve to mess up "his" day, by tearing down all of his lovely bean vines. What makes creatures think that they can just trespass on someone's property and lolly-gag around, doing whatever, without a care in the world, la-di-da?
So, I'll tell you what I did; I grabbed me a big stick, crept up on him from behind, (although this was hard to do, because he kept squirming around), and got ready to "whomp" the tar out of him. Then I got to thinking, "Wait a minute. Didn't I read somewhere that the bees and butterflies pollinate the vegetables and flowers. The toads, bats, and the lizards eat all the creepies. And the snakes catch vermin!"
Let's see, let me think about this a minute; (you remember I told you from the first that I was not the sharpest tool in the shed?) Hmmm, a snake in the garden might not be such a bad thing after all. Let's add up all the reasons why I should not whomp this bugger, right where he slithers.
All of that said, I just couldn't bring myself to whomp him, he was just too little and cute. Problem was, I didn't know if he was poisonous or not. I'm not a snake expert, and he couldn't talk to tell me whether I needed to worry or not. I certainly didn't want my dear husband (who is getting on up in years, and not able to swiftly get out of the way, poor thing!) to get bitten by what might, or might not be a poisonous reptile.
So, I bravely, and with great trepidation, lunged at him, grabbed him by the tail, and whisked him with lightening speed into a soft-drink cup. Now, this is probably not the best thing in the world to keep a possibly poisonous reptile in, but out in the wilderness, you do what you have to do, to accomplish the task at hand. I did manage to find some screen-wire and rubber bands to secure the top of the cup. This wilderness was maybe not quite so void of some needed items, it seems.
Well, to make a long story short, we took Elmer, (the baby snake) up to my brother-in-law's house. We were told that he was just a chicken snake. He wouldn't hurt you, they actually make good pets, and so forth and so on. We took him home to show JoAnna, and then let the poor little creature go forth back out into the wilderness, to do what snakes do.
Ok, ok, this is what really happened: I took him out to show him to my daughter, and he took one look at freedom, and jumped right out of my hands, and took off like a streak of brown and tan lightning, vvvrrrroooooommmmm!
Oh well, I've got vermin up here that need to be eaten too.
By one.of.a.kind from AL
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This is such a cute story. I have an uncle who studies snakes and also my next door neighbor loves them, but I am too squeamish about encountering them in the wild! I am glad you didn't whomp him :)
What a FANTASTIC adventure and a delightful story teller you are! Reminds me when we were little and our parents worked in a garden and we played with daddy long legs and garter snakes! Later when I was older I used to put water on the garden snake that curled up under a broken step when it was hot outside!
Snakes are very beneficial. My father stops to grab black snakes when driving down the road instead of running over them. He puts them in his barn or shed or a neighbors barn or shed. Black snakes not only eat rodents, but they also eat poisonous snakes like copper heads and water moccasins. A black snake or two, maybe a garden snake, or a chicken snake would make nice additions to any garden/farm.
Thanks for the fantastic story presented in this post. Not only is it interesting, it is very educational. Can't say I would want snakes around, but glad to know so many are so beneficial to our gardens, etc. I learned a lot from this post. Thanks so much.
I too, loved your "snake" encounter. My thing with snakes is also to respect and admire them. Several years ago I enjoyed several non exotic snakes. I had red rat snakes, sometimes called corn snakes, and a couple other varieties. They are most useful in garden areas, even just around your home. Of course you would not want cotton mouth snakes, copper heads, rattle snakes, etc. around small children, but if you live where they are, you need to educate them about the snakes, because the snakes will be there, like it or not. Your writing skills are wasted if this is all you have done. I could see stories for children, even for older folks. It entertained me, and I am an "over the hill" 71, but my mind doesn't know it yet. Again, loved the article. Loretta, Theodore, Alabama
Please, you are not "over the hill" at 71. I am a writer, and I used to teach creative writing. I believe you are only as old as you think. Some days I think like a 3-year-old, others like I'm 100. In all of this I must also consider my aging body in that equation and be considerate of this "other part" of me that is only approaching the hill, but how can anyone be "over" it if they are just beginning that slow and leisurely walk towards it? I've heard that 70 is the new 40.
What a cute and wonderfully told story! Thanks so much! :-)
What a wonderful story. You are a talented writer. Write some more!
Such a good picture of a cute little snake (and you know he had stories to tell when he/she got home!)
That really is a cute snake, and you couldn't have framed that picture better!
I love your style of writing! I look forward to your accounts of other "meetings."
I love your comments & hope "Elmer" lives a long & happy life as one of God's great creatures should. Hope your picture wins first prize. It's perfect!
Adorable snake. I'm glad he's safe and free to live his life. Thanks for sharing.
You have to write a chapter two of going out into your garden, we demand a chapter two~!
Great write up! Very cute and interesting garden adventure. I especially like the southern touches ("whomp the tar outta him") :)
Hola, from the tropical beaches of Costa Rica... where we have lots of snakes! Loved your snake story... so cute! Glad he/she is still among the living. Also, to me that looks like a garter (harmless) snake. Thanks for sharing. You definitely have a way with words. Looking forward to more of your posts! ;D
We had a baby garter snake in the garden last year with a very distinctive marking. This year, he's all grown up and living in the garden happy as anything. We make sure we watch for him while mowing!
It's so very good to know that there are others on God's earth who recognize why He put His creatures here. Each and every one has a purpose. Well, multi-purposes, actually. Snakes just want to do their job. As do other productive individuals.
I am so happy you chose not to whomp him. Everyone seems to have a preconceived notion that snakes are evil. They are not. Yes, some are poisonous and we should all learn which are and are native to our areas of the world. I have had a large Black Snake that lives around my house for years now. BUT, I have not seen her this year and fear new neighbors have killed her. I forgot to warn them that there is a neighborhood Black Snake. One neighbor up the way even killed the neighborhood groundhog because it stole a tomato. Surely he could have spared a few. We must live with the animals and birds and serpents around us. We have taken all their space. We must learn to share.
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