Friday, May 9, 2008

Snakes on the brain

For the past week Titus has been carrying around this very realistic rubber, floppy, life-like (especially in a darkened hallway as you are stumbling your way to Teensy's room, early morning light brings LIFE to certain things) snake with him everywhere he went. His fascination with snakes started when his best friend, Justin, showed him his two corn snakes. His father lets them have snakes in their house as pets...I don't know what's wrong with them. I just don't like snakes. They have their space and I have mine...let's just coexist shall we? Having him tote this snake all over creation made me think of all the snake encounters of my life. Some encounters just burn into your brain and leave a mark that won't go away.
My Robba lived in Carl Junction, MO for several years. Robba was my Great Aunt, but I was raised thinking she was my Aunt. I'll have to peel the onion sometime on my Mom's side of the family...that's going to be a doozie! Robba was my favorite person in the universe, I just loved her to death. I would spend as much time as I could with her. In Carl Junction she lived on this hill kind of outside town. There were probably 12 or so houses on this hill and we knew almost everybody on the hill. Robba's house was the last house on the left at the top of the hill. They were very close to Shoal Creek, within walking distance. It was very woodsy and rural so a lot of beasts were around us all the time, country beasts. Among the many beasts that frequented her space were snakes. We were always finding snakes around her house. Robba would just get a shovel calmly walk over to the snake and whack it's head off, throw it over the fence and walk away. I would always just stand gobsmacked by her brute force and fear of nothing attitude. That must have been what David felt like when he faced down Goliath.

Like my son, I had a few pet snakes that I loved to tease people with, especially my cousin Gail. She was a brat, a spoiled rotten brat. She got to live with Robba full-time since Robba gave birth to her pfheh! Brat. One Summer day we were all out in force playing with our neighbor friends and Gail had to run home for something. As Gail was running to the house she saw what she though was my snake stretched across the driveway, she was just going to jump over that and have no reaction to my trick. As she was in mid-air right over the...fake snake...Gail realized it was a real snake! A real snake startled by the huge human jumping over it's sunning body. You don't block the sun when a snake is soaking it up. This think flipped and flopped and curled up--it was hopping mad! It still feels like all of this happened while Gail was frozen over the snake, but it sure put the fear of God into my cousin. She was scared to death of snakes.

"MOOOOM...MOOOM! SNNNAAKE!" Here came Robba and my Granny! My Robba was Granny was tougher...and them together defending one of their babies...look out. This snake had no chance! It was even worse because Gail was the ONLY baby on their side. Me and Sis were on the other side of the snake and that snake was in a foul mood. Robba had a shovel and Granny had a broom. The snake had five minutes to live. When my Robba and Granny were through with that snake is was sushified! You just don't mess with the babies.

One other time as we were on an adventure to the creek and walking down the dirt path to go do whatever we were going to do, we were stopped by a snake. A snake in the tree! It was a Cotton Mouth, one of the only venomous water snakes around. When threatened they display their ugly side! I do not know why this snake was in the tree. I do not know how it go into the tree. How does a snake climb a tree? All I knew was this a tree...was going to drop down into my hair and bite the crap out of me injecting its venom into me. I would die and vultures would swarm down to eat my poisoned dead carcass leaving the remains for the crows to pick at. Talk about scared. We were screaming bloody murder! I don't really know what transpired to get us connected with a competent adult, but I do know this snake was shot! No shovel involved...sorry. I'll have to talk to sis and see how all this unfolded. She'll remember, and probably know what we were all wearing.

When Kendra and I lived in Oklahoma City we worked for the Deer Creek church for a couple of years before moving to Texas. This was a start-up church in rural Edmond, close to the community of Deer Creek and Piedmont. It was country. Our church was built in a pasture. On one occasion, our pulpit minister, Darrel was in the auditorium during the weekday. It was unusual for him to be in the building during the week and even more unusual for him to be in the auditorium for that matter. "Will...Will...Come quickly Will...Will!" "What's wrong?" "I believe there is a snake in this room, right over there, but I"m not going to stay around to find out." "Snake?" "I saw it crawling...over there." You know you are in trouble when anyone finds comfort in my strength! Darrell made me look like a Green Beret! "Take care of that..I'll be over here." Take care of it? How was I going to take care of it? Shovel...I need a shovel. OK, what next...broom. I'll get a broom and whack it to death.

NOTE: If I have something in my hand and am required to swing at another object to make contact...I'll miss. I found a broom and made my way into the auditorium. Sure enough there was the snake. I guess this snake didn't get the whole, youdon'tbelonginachurchbecauseyouaresatan lecture. I crept up on the snake, broom in hand, waiting for my moment. "How's it going?" "SHHH!" WHACK! Crap missed the snake. Now where is it? Over there. "Did you get it...Will...did you get it?" "SHHH!" Where's crocodile Dundee when you need him? One more time. If I don't' get it this time, I'm leaving and someone else can take care of it. WHACK! I got it. I Lizzie Borden'd the snake about 100 times. It was dead beyond dead. Luckily for me I had a broom and just swept it into the trash. Pish Posh!

One Sunday morning as Kendra and I were gearing up for services, she was in her classroom getting a bulletin board ready. Her brother Devin was in the room with her and they were chatting. "AHHHH!" Kendra doesn't scream-ever. She's not a sissy pants at all and for her to scream was big. "What's wrong." "Snake." Holy cow how many more snakes are there. This snake was not on the floor. It was in an expanding file. We had all of our letters in this file and just pulled out the letters we needed to make the bulletin board. As Kendra was pulling out a letter...SHE GRABBED A SNAKE! When she realized it wasn't a letter, but a snake [how long does it take to know you aren't holding paper!] she flicked it across the room. Thank God there were no children in the class. Guess which compartment the snake was in? Go ahead...guess. Give? S, that's right it was int he S compartment. I had some fun with that. I can assure you that she NEVER reached into a expanding file again--EVER!

One other time a snake got into our baptistery. Took a little swim. I just called Mac and had him come take care of that sucker. No way was I going to tussle with that sucker.


Memaw's memories said...

Don't want to be around snakes. Don't like them. Can't stand them. We dealt with them in the fields. We lived near a river with drainage ditches all around. They would get into the trash box in the outhouse. No Fun!!!

Tracy said...

HOLY COW... i can't believe all your snakey encounters! i think it wasnt til we moved to Maryland (b4 we came here) that i first saw a snake, in real life, in the grass - those black snakes that are harmless. we didnt have such things in NJ :-)
i just let him go on his way (and the subsequent snakes that made their way thru our yard). i guess thaey were lucky they met up with me and not you (or Robba or Grandma!)

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