There’s nothing like the text message late in the evening to be careful coming home — since there is, to quote, “a fat snake” on the carport.
What kind of “fat” snake?, I asked. No one was sure.
As it turned out, further investigation revealed that it did not have a triangular-shaped head, which was welcome news. Ball bearings had been tossed at the snake to see if it was alive, and when it didn’t move, it was assumed said snake was, well, dead. But then it lifted its head and they could see the bulge in the snake’s tummy. In all likelihood, he had just wolfed down a mouse or something and was digesting away.
And if he wants to eat up rodents running through the yard, he can have himself a buffet.
Some years ago, I had stopped by my folks’ house to check on them and as I was leaving, something told me to look down and to my left. And there I spotted a snake, not far from the front step.
I retreated back to the house, went into the back bedroom, grabbed the remote and hit mute.
“Get the gun,” I said.
My old man, not happy someone had turned down the jet engine volume on whatever he was watching, grumbled back in his sometimes still thick Yankee accent. “Wha? Wha fah?”
Me: “There’s a snake out front.”
So he went to his personal armory of weapons that never saw the light of day and proceeded to get the appropriate gun. I went back to the front step to keep an eye on the snake. And now I had to keep Mom, usually deathly afraid of snakes, back, so I rolled her and her wheelchair out of the way.
After about five minutes and no gun-toting Yankee to be seen, I went back to the back bedroom. And there, with dozens of bullets scattered around, was Dad trying to find the right ammo. Eventually he had a handful of bullets and loaded the .22 rifle.
Five shots later, snake dead. Gun put up. Mom kept out of harm’s way.
And now I was leaving and I decided once more to see if that snake was dead and alone. He was dead. He was not alone.
“Get the gun again.”
After a few more not for Sunday Mass words, the old man got the gun and a handful of shots later — and mind you, we lived right in the geographic center of town, but thanks to the convergence of two five-lane roads about 150 yards away, the traffic noise drowned out the gunfire — snake 2 was no longer.
Our next-door neighbor ventured over after the final volley of fire. His declaration? Yep, those snakes were bad and you need to shoot them.
They weren’t real big but they were big enough to shoot. Hope the buzzards enjoyed the snack.