Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Snakes on a Tile

Ironically, I was watching a Samuel L. Jackson movie. It was Freedomland, but you know, six degrees of Kevin Bacon and all that. The movie ended and I got up and looked over at our back doors, a pair of French doors or anyway two doors with windows in them and apparently a microscopic space at floor level.

Protruding from said small space at the base of the doors was a giant anaconda, I mean it was the size of the one that menaced Jennifer Lopez in Anaconda and more recently those actors you'd never heard of in Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid.

OK, maybe I exaggerated a little. I thought at first it was an earthworm. We'd had a long day of rain and the ground was saturated and that tends to drive earthworms to concrete or--in the rare case--ceramic tile.

The only thing that made me wonder about species was that it seemed to have the tiniest hint of a head. Earthworms are pretty much the same on both ends. Not that I could see both ends . The end without the head was still between my doors.

Since it was possibly a snake I decided not to pick it up with my hands and worried my cats might be about to discover it and pounce.

I turned to find those fierce predators were watching me from over the back of the sofa with timid eyes seeming to say: "It's a snake, you deal with it. We've got your back. From over here."

So, I started weighing options, flight not being actually viable.

  • Kill it? It didn't seem to have the head of a pit viper meaning it was probably harmless and also beneficial for something. I'm not up on all of the things for which snakes are beneficial, but generally on Animal Planet they indicate you should override those Genesis instincts that man "shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." Thy being snakes. Also killing it would probably make a mess and it was 10 minutes until the first new Daily Show in a week.
  • Get a broom handle and try to loop the snake over that, get the door open and hurl broom and all into the night? Too complicated.
  • Capture? What do you capture a snake in? Drinking glass? Yeah, right! Jar? Mop bucket!
With the cats rooting for me, still from the safety of the sofa, I acquired a broom and mop bucket. I saw them do a similar thing with king cobras once. On TV. Apparently instead of zapping you with neurotoxin cobras would really rather go into a hole.

So I put the mop bucket on the floor in front of the snake, and this tiny little forked tongue flicked out. OK, definitely not an earthworm.

I edged the bucket a little closer while readying the broom handle for a mild poke. The snake seemed to take notice of the bucket. For the first time since apparently slithering through the crack in my door it moved.


Apparently not wanting a ride in my bucket, it rather quickly turned around and went back through the crack in the door.

I guess they really are as scared of you as you are of them.

Having had enough of a mother#!%$^&*+$ snake in my mother#!%$^&*+$ den, I applied weather stripping in the form of duct tape, fixer of all ills. "Elegant," Christine would say later. She managed to sleep through the entire thing even though the bedroom door was open and I may have exclaimed aloud a few times: "There's a mother#!%$^&*+$ snake in my mother#!%$^&*+$ den."

"I didn't want a hideous pit viper getting in while we were asleep," I countered.

"It was probably a common garden snake."

"It wasn't in the garden."

Although hopefully that's where it is now, and I need to make a trip to Ace Hardware. I probably was ordered to address the weather stripping issue at some point, once upon a time, but I uh may have forgotten. What am I, Ty Pennington?


Erik Donald France said...

That's CRAZY! Handled well, with the cats' think bubbles saying to the theme of Shake and Bake, "And I Helped!"

As an aside, I'm a fan of French doors -- and reinforced insulation :->

Charles Gramlich said...

LOL. That's a great story. I got a kick out of this one. Especially your brave brave cats.

Lana Gramlich said...

Wow! Too much! We discovered that there are cottonmouths at our local hiking area (Charles almost stepped on one once, but jumped 15 feet up & back at the same time, instead.) At least that's OUTDOORS, though!

Shauna Roberts said...

Your cats are unbelievable! Any of the cats I've had would have been on that snake as soon as its nose breached the house.

I had a snake in my house in New Orleans once. I was trying to water a houseplant with one of those little plastic watering cans you get at the grocery story, but nothing came out. I looked into the spout, and two black beads of eyes looked back. I took the can outside and poked the snake in the tail until it slithered out of the spout. It was a tiny green snake (Opheodrys vernalis, probably) skinnier than a pencil.

Anonymous said...

Cats are useless. Dogs are better. Dominic would pinned that snake and eaten him alive

Sidney said...

Dominic passes away, the myth lives on.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, he's in a better place with plenty of backdoors to slobber on.

Anonymous said...

Feel fortunate; my cats would've run.

When I was growing up my parents lived in a very wooded area. Black snakes used to drop out of the trees. It wasn't like an apocalyptic event or anything, but now and again one would lose its--footing?--and fall. That was bad enough. But, one day a hawk dropped one at my feet. It just sailed through the air towards me, writhing and twisting, until, plunk! Right at the tips of my Reebok Pumps. There was some girly screaming, flailing and running involved with that scenario.

Sidney said...

There was some girly screaming during my incident too, Avery.

Sphinx Ink said...


Memo to self: To get someone to install weatherstripping on door, insert snake head.

P.S. My cats probably would've avoided the snake, too. Their think-bubbles would say,"Hey, I like catching roaches, but I ain't stupid!"

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