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
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
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.
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.
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
"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.
scared it into shrinking?" Renato asks.
"No! It's just
Curled up tiny. Trust me, it's Long and It's a Copperhead," I
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
"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.