Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Saving Snakes and Pear Trees

It's not easy being a hero.

When our pear tree lost a primary branch, our family gathered cuttings, and I'm trying to bring all nineteen of them back to life. Spiders were caught and released into the wild. The same goes for mice (if the cats failed to do their jobs), flies, ladybugs, and even stinkbugs.

But the other day was the most interesting save yet.

My daughter called out that there was a black snake ever-so-slowly crossing the road in front of our house. It came from somewhere under our house, so I have no idea where the thing was sleeping, but the weather warmed enough that it awoke and was looking for a place to warm in the sun.

Image by Storme22k from Pixabay 

The middle of the road isn't the best choice, snake-dude.

Traffic here in the boonies is sparse but not so light that a snake can sunbathe without getting hit. So my daughter, terrified of touching it, was trying to coax it across the road with a stick.

The snake wasn't having it and stayed put. It was still a bit torpid and didn't lash out, but it didn't move across the road either. So I told my daughter to just pick it up by the back of the head and near the end of the tail and carry it over before someone came down the road.

She looked at me as if I lost my snake-pickin' mind.

Now, this is a young lady that can make a bucking, twelve-hundred-pound horse follow her like a puppy in less than ten minutes (truth- I saw her do this!), but she squealed when she was required to pick up a three-foot black snake this is neither poisonous nor venomous.

At the tender age of five, this same child dropped a little white mouse into the tank of a friends' boa constrictor and giggled when the snake got the mouse. Did it matter that she was playing with the feeder mice before this? No, of course not. But sixteen years later, she decided snakes were off her 'cool and touchable' list.

Mom to the rescue!

She backed away as I approached, picked up the snack gently by the back of its head and near the end of its tail, and carried said rabid python of doom to the other side of the road.

The snake barely even reacted to me, and I forgot that snakes are all muscle. It was weird holding its body as I felt muscles flex under its leathery skin. I let it go on the other side of a small ditch next to the road, far enough away from the asphalt in hopes of deterring it from the street. 

Just in time too, because a car was coming.

As I came back across the street, my daughter, dumbfounded, gave me a high-five and exclaimed how impressed she was at my snake-handling talents. It felt so good I thought about sewing myself a little cape and playing the Superman theme.

Okay, maybe not, but it still felt pretty awesome.

Spring in the boonies has been an adventure so far. I wonder what the summer will bring?


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