Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Soap & the Serpant

I like
I really
but there
is a place
for them...
and it is
not the
soap dish.
Let me set a scene for you. It had been a long grueling week for my husband who is working around the clock to get a project completed for a client. We are relaxing for a few minutes in the great room on Thursday evening prior to my husband having to go out to his workshop yet again. My three year old has just run upstairs to put some stray coins in her bank. She comes back down, passing over the cat laying in the hall who decides it is high time she comes down too. Sunshine has been sprawled out in the upstairs hall for hours like a beached whale. I hear my husband's footsteps heading toward the laundry room in the upstairs bathroom. And then I hear a fairly long string of loud expletives. I call up to be sure he is all right and barely make out the word "snake". Hmmm...I think and get moving toward the stairs myself. What I see is unbelievable. My husband is standing just inside the bathroom, having reached for his boots, and has caught a glimpse of something moving on the bathroom counter. At first he thinks it may be a mouse, then maybe a few mice- and as his eyes adjust to what he is seeing, he steps back. A snake has coiled up in the iron soap dish, furtively eyeing both him, and the other snake which is looking a bit threatening in the mirror! This gives me just enough time to grab a wood walking stick with a nice handle. I pass it to my husband trying not to make any quick moves. I plead with him to be careful. He cheerfully tells me he has seen this on television and can handle the situation. And the next thing I know he is holding the snake at the head and walking it out the front door. I am stunned, both by the snake, and the snake charmer. Our guest is dropped into a plastic bucket for identification and covered tightly. A few moments later we realize that what we have is a pretty large and well fed rat snake. A lot of odd occurrences throughout the day begin to make sense. Sometime in the early afternoon both of our cats were staring down the basement stairwell. There was a gate perched in the landing there and I did not think too much of this at the time. The door there is rarely open and I figured they were doing a bit of investigating. Then there were some odd odors. I couldn't put my finger on it but it was musky- like a cross between old shoes or old meat. I know, gross, but then it simply went away. It is hard to tell how long our slithering friend lived with us. I know that the past year has seen very few rodents running around the house. I attributed this to our cats, but perhaps not. Rat snakes can live to be twenty years old, and do much good. We let him go right outside the barn. He may face some competition out there, and hopefully will not find the baby birds in the conifers. Just today we saw one of the hawks fly over carrying a rather large snake. And we think we have had a tough week? There's no way to tell if our serpent became the hawks dinner today, but I'd be surprised if we find him in the soap dish again!

Thanks to Kenny Brooks for the name of this blog post!

PS- You can click on the photographs here on my blog for a close up view of the snake...almost just like being there...almost.

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