Snake eyes | Front Porch | Indy Week
Pin It

Snake eyes 

Another suburban morning, family on the fly. Multitask schedule called out and negotiated from every room, soccer shorts lost and found, school-lunch menu debated, cereal selection voted down, dance outfit found and lost, e-mail and answering machine messages passed on or forgotten.

Then we find the snake.

Nothing like the real world to focus people's attention. For the past 20 years, whenever a snake invades our chicken coop looking for a morning feast of freshly laid eggs, that trumped everything. Short circuit in the hair dryer, milk supply exhausted, wrong shorts in the washer, lost hair ribbons--forget about it. First we gotta get the snake out of the coop. (We haven't yet encountered the conundrum of snake-in-coop vs. flat-tire/need-to-pick-up-the-carpool.)

When I appear with fresh water for "the girls," the chickens let me know something is up. Lots of clucking. At first I think they're just complaining about being out of water. But then I see what's upsetting them. Surprised by my appearance and curling ever so cautiously away from the nesting area, a 4-foot black snake is making her getaway through an opening in the pine slats close to the coop's tin roof.

Back in the house, responding to my call for help, my older daughter comes down the stairs. Having recently discovered Alfred Hitchcock's techniques for provoking dramatic tension, she announces loudly, "If someone comes into my room with a snake to wake me up, I'll kill them." My younger daughter grabs her sneakers and runs outside looking for a box to put the snake in so she can take it to school.

Catching a snake after it has picked up the day's delivery of eggs is easy. Those lumps in its belly slow it down. This empty-bellied snake, however, tested our teamwork as it moved in and out of the coop along the eaves, three feet over our heads. We finally lassoed the intruder with our homemade snake stick and, deciding it was too big for show-and-tell, marched it smartly down the path and released it on the other side of the creek.

Our adventure with nature over, we gulped our breakfast and hit the road to town, school and work.

Out in the garden a few days later, we were mounding up hills for melons and squash when out popped a 5-inch baby snake. Grabbing it before it could wriggle under the fence, my daughter turned and asked, "Do you think she was looking for her mother?"

Latest in Front Porch

More by John Valentine

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Front Porch

  • One vote

    • Nov 12, 2014
  • Box of one

    Was I paying to be helped or to feel important, a bona fide expert on only myself?
    • Sep 24, 2014
  • The Old South (Hills)

    The Old South (Hills)

    • Sep 17, 2014
  • More »


Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

'Anna Lee' is a truly beautiful song, Ms Dossett. And I love Levon Helm's rendition. You are blessed with a …

by Byron Miller on A song for Levon (Front Porch)

Just now seeing this....Liz and I were super close friends in the early 80s. She was so special. I had …

by RoBert 1 on In memoriam: Liz Holm, 1959–2013 (Front Porch)

Nobody will be surprised to learn that Hocutt never went to Nam. He was in the Navy but washed out …

by Jefflenter on Raleigh bad boy no more (Front Porch)

I see his concern. Yes, it was a well written story and showed his caring side for sure. But not …

by Linda Bates Terrell on Motorcycle men (Front Porch)

Follow-up to my "nervous mom" comment. The last coupe of weeks we have been in many situations with individuals that …

by paulapowers on Governor's School blues (Front Porch)

Comments

'Anna Lee' is a truly beautiful song, Ms Dossett. And I love Levon Helm's rendition. You are blessed with a …

by Byron Miller on A song for Levon (Front Porch)

Just now seeing this....Liz and I were super close friends in the early 80s. She was so special. I had …

by RoBert 1 on In memoriam: Liz Holm, 1959–2013 (Front Porch)

Most Read

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation