Snake Wars!


Not long ago (May 19, 1999 to be exact) in a galaxy (oops - city) far far away the inmates (dwellers?) of a certain house came to be known as intrepid fighters in what is now called: Snake Wars!

While talking to my Mom on the phone that morning, out of the corner of my eye I saw Gilly acting like a Bucking Bronco! Arched back, 12 inch leaps! A Pogo Stick Cat! I jumped up and saw a Three Foot Slithering Mass of Snake! Well, it seemed Three feet - upon not so calm reflection I decided it was more like a one foot slithering mass. Long enough!

I almost shouted my Mom deaf yelling, "Gilly's after a snake! There's a copperhead in the house!" Somehow I managed Not to toss the cordless phone at it!

Now I am Not a Weenie. And I pretty much think snakes are okay. I thought that before the Crocodile Hunter became a world wide hero. Heck, I was bringing snakes home before he was Born (probably BEG!). And had it been any other color: green, yellow, tan or whatever I probably wouldn't have Almost panicked. But this guy was perfect copperhead brown/red. Perfect.

All those thoughts happened in two heartbeats - Gilly + snake = bitten by copperhead.

Still holding the phone while my Mom was saying really Wise Mom Things i.e.: "Don't get bitten. Save the Cats," I dashed around the furniture to stop Gilly. The snake was slithering under a large old tack box we have, completely covered with cowboy things. Two feet away is a Hoosier Cabinet. Snake went under the tack box, Gilly went after it. At that moment I could have smashed said snake with an old railroad lantern, however the Intrepid Snake Killer's head was in the way and I would have brained her instead.

Told Mom I'd call her back. Dragged Gilly out from under the Hoosier Cabinet where she was waiting for that serpent to reappear. Ever drag a small hog with Claws out from under something? I think tackling the snake would have been easier. Tossed her in the hall and slammed the door.

Jerked the door open realizing Zoe The Doesn't Get Along Well With Others Cat wasn't locked up. Grabbed Zoe, put her in a room and reslammed doors. My feet were smoking trying to get back to the living room and our new Snake Den!

Grabbed Gypsy (who had slept through all this so far) and she goes into the hall. Grab poor Tikky and gently raced her there too. Sydney was bouncing around the living room swatting at anything that moved and appeared to be saying, "Which way did it go? Which way did it go?" He too was shut up.

So now the cats are safe. I call Renato at work (12 miles away) yelling at one of his co-workers when she answered: "Get Renato! There's a snake in the house!"

Mr. CALM gets to the phone while I'm still emoting and I tell him. "Are you sure?" he says. "Would I CALL and Tell You there Was A #****** snake In the House if there Wasn't?"

Says he'll be home as soon as he can and to Not panic. Oh No Mr. Calm, I'm way Past panic.

Then my good friend Linda calls and I relate all. She offers to call her Mom and have her come over but I don't want to be responsible for someone's mother being bitten by a copperhead! I told her Renato was on his way. She mentioned how her Mom use to wack them with a hoe (!) and I race to the garage to get My Weapon. Let that bugger slither out now!

I blocked the tack box sides as well as I can, discover I've lit three cigarettes in a row (yea give that snake lung cancer that will show 'em or stone him with smoke) and sit on the edge of the sofa, hoe in hand and Wait. Just call me Obi-Wan Trish.

Renato arrived and waltzed in as only Renato can, telling me to calm down. Heck I was Calm. I had a hoe, I had enough nicotine in me to cause Lord knows how many sorts of cancer, I had finished off a Diet Pepsi (Caffeine free! Didn't want the Shakes!) and Linda had kept me company on the phone. Life was good except for that darn copperhead.

I told him, "Slide the tack box That way, and I'll wack that bugger!"

"No! I'll get a box and we'll catch him and put him outside," says the Next Saint of All Creatures Great and Small.

"It's a bloody copperhead! We have No insurance! Wanna sit in the freebie emergency room with the gunshot victims if one of us is bitten?"

"How do you know it's a copperhead?" says Saint R.

"Cause it's the color of one," says the avid Crocodile Hunter Fan with the hoe spinning and twirling in her hands. I'm brave now, I have actual human company to give me courage, or the nicotine was giving me a Real High. The Force is with me.

"Well calm down and I'll get a box and gloves just in case we can trap it," says Saint R, not knowing that if he tells me One More Time to Calm Down, he might get wacked with the hoe Just Because.

He returns with, in my opinion, a too large a box and gloves. He slides the tack box away from the wall and it pivots. On guard on the other side, I spot the serpent.

"There it is! There it is!" my eyes start gleaming with lights of revenge.

Renato comes around the other end of the tack box and drops his 'trap' on top on what Now appears to be a six inch long grass snake.

"Think you scared it into shrinking?" Renato asks.

"No! It's just Curled up tiny. Trust me, it's Long and It's a Copperhead," I reply.

Renato then leaves again (!) to get a piece of cardboard to slide under the cardboard box to contain the snake. I'm on guard, with the hoe holding down the box Just In Case.

Flimsy piece of cardboard! He slides it under the trap box and hopefully the snake.


"I got it, I can hear it bouncing off the box."

"No dear, I just bumped the Hoosier with the hoe."

Now, this flat cardboard is really floppy. He can't raise it with the box very well. So Un well that Mr. Snake actually slides Out and plops onto the carpet.

The Three Stooges, Minus One, Trap A Snake.

Covering the snake again, I tell him, "I'll hold two sides, you hold the other two."

That worked until we got to the front door. Where Saint Renato had thought to lock the storm door in case Any More Snakes showed up. Yes Renato, snakes know all about door handles, don't they.

He reaches to the lock and "thunk" the snake hits the floor.

Since my weapon of choice is too far away, I wack the snake with the box and trap him, again. Here goes the 'slide the cardboard under the box' move Again. Nope, Renato, you just pushed the snake out the Other side.

After three tries we have it!

Out the door and into the yard. We set down the Snake in the Box. Renato lets it loose.

"It's not here my Love."

"Sure it is, it's in the grass."

"No it isn't," I say, "It's Not Here, it's Still in the House!"

We run back to the house, fling open the door, and there is Mr. Dazed Snake, lying on the entry way throw rug. He seems to be begging to Be Let Out.

Renato, who I think has Bonded with that box by this time, steps over the snake to re-trap it, I say.."Just MOVE."

I grab the rug and with a mighty jerk and fling, toss it and Mr. Snake out onto the sidewalk.

Renato goes to it, squats down over it. Mr. Snake ain't moving. He's really stunned now.

"It's a grass snake or rat snake."

"I don't care, as long as his scaly body is outside. Hope he has a nice snake life, which he Won't have if he gets back into the house. Next time it's Wack with the hoe."

The snake moves slowly onto the lawn, and disappears into the grass. Don't think I'll be pulling any weeds barehanded for a while.



Gilly - Snake Chaser Extraordinaire

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