Alert…this is not a religious post just a story about snakes.
I have a fear of snakes. Not a phobia of snakes. Just given the choice of petting a kitten or petting a snake I’m going to pick the kitten…every time! While I don’t have a hatred of snakes I also don’t want to live with them. We have ninety acres of woodlands, streams, hills, and valleys. They need to stay out there where they belong. Just after we moved into our little piece of heaven, we found snakeskins…loooooong snakeskins as in five feet plus and they weren’t out in the woodlands, streams, hills, and valleys. We found them under the house, in the attic, and behind the cheap paneling cladding our beadboard walls. The next spring, we would find out where some of those snakeskins came from.
It was a late May day when I first made the acquaintance of one of my black rat snakes. Laying in the sun, he was not nearly as scared of me as I was of him…or her. How does one tell? How many steps do you run when you first see a snake lying next to your foot? My escape was more of a combination hop and lunge followed by three rapid steps before my mind said, “Shut it down, it was a black snake and nothing poisonous.” It was a huge reptile, as was its mate. They were a matching pair of near six-footers I saw together several days later. Both had recently shed their skin and their black skin seemed to glisten in the bright sunshine. I wish they would stay OUT in the bright sunshine.
Late one afternoon I saw my three puppies sitting outside the back door leading onto our combination back porch washroom which was adjacent to our kitchen. As I continued past them I told them, “You can sit there and wait but your Mommy (Linda Gail) is not here.” There was no reaction except for wagging tails and their attention seemed to focus on the back door which rarely closed on its own and was always slightly ajar. My attention was also drawn to the door when I noticed a foot of rat snake tail peeking out from underneath. Oh pooh! I ran around and went in the front door, jogged to the kitchen and found the rat snake occupying the kitchen, back porch, AND steps leading to it…ALL AT THE SAME TIME! I stepped toward Snakey hoping it would retreat. It did, right under the dryer. Crap! Okay if I rock the dryer maybe I can entice it to move…but it might move right up my britches leg. If I crawl on top of the dryer maybe, I can shake it enough to make Snakey move…on the dryer is just where Linda found me. “What are you doing?” She was not happy or impressed with my answer. We decided to open the porch door, close the kitchen door and wait it out. It must have worked…briefly.
Momentary digression…but there is a point coming.
Every time I watch NCIS reruns and the Mike Franks’ character is featured I remember my favorite of many favorite Mike Franks’ quotes,
“But the memories we make.
We fill the spaces we live in with them.
That’s why I’ve always tried to make sure that wherever I live,
the longer I live there
the spaces become filled with memories –
of naked women.”
My space is filled with memories, but of only one naked woman. I was and am truly blessed. I smiled at the vision of my bride sprinting nude from our old-fashioned bathroom. Sprinting and yelling, “Snake, Snake, Snake!” I imagined the snake, a five-foot-plus black rat snake, yelling in my head, “Naked Woman, Naked Woman, Naked Woman,” as it tried to climb the wall behind her.
We had returned late to our old non-air conditioned home. The late July heat and humidity were still evident when Linda Gail retired to the bathroom to bathe. Believing the bright overhead incandescent light bulb simply added to the heat, she entered the bathroom in the dark and after beginning to run her water, stripped, reached down and plugged in the small lamp that sat next to the lavatory. As the light dimly flooded the small bathroom, she found herself staring face to “forked tongue” with a snake that was coiled below the short electrical cord.
Typically, male, my attention was drawn to the vision of a fit, well put together woman with fabulous…EYES, running naked through the house and not on the snake that was trying to escape in the other direction. There is always a price to go with the vision I was enjoying, the snake had to be removed but first I had to find it. “Here Snakey, Snakey, Snakey!”
From the book “Through the Front Gate”. All of Don Miller’s books may be accessed at https://www.amazon.com/Don-Miller/e/B018IT38GM
Don Miller writing as Lena Christenson may be accessed at https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B07B6BDD19