Even now my heart is hammering in my chest, I can barely unclench my fists enough to type and there’s a trickle of sweat itching the back of my neck. More to the point of this blog, I have vowed not to step foot outside until winter, at least until a good frost has covered the ground for more than a morning. Could make getting to work a little tricky, but I suppose I’ll cross that (safely inside) bridge when I get there.
What event could have led to such a horrible conclusion?
I was sitting by the pond, sipping on a muddled drink, idly throwing pellets of food to the fish, when I happened to glance up looking for Akira. I didn’t see the dog. Instead, I came eye to eye with a nightmarish-black serpent slinking past the skimmer with a fist-sized frog dangling from its mouth.
Now, if you’re one of those “they’re all God’s creatures” or “they’re part of gardening” or, blech, a “but they’re wonderful additions to the yard since they keep away pesky rodents” type gardeners, stop reading, exit this page, don’t even think about leaving a comment. Because believe me, I know that snakes have their place. I know they have a bad rap. I know that nasty thing isn’t going to do me any harm. I know this, logically. Still, the second the sun’s rays sparkle off those sequin-like scales, calling my attention to these legless, finless intruders, instinct kicks in, my amygdala kicks my legs into action, and I’m out of there. Usually shaking and whimpering in an embarrassing display.
To tell the truth, this time I did pretty good. I screamed at the dog to “run, get, go, run!” as I headed up the deck steps. Not like when I was five and ran screaming into the house at the sight of the tiny garter snake, locking the door before my toddling sister had even realized I’d left her alone. See, I’ve grown some.
It’s so incredibly frustrating, because I really do know better. And I’ve tried to overcome this frustrating gardening obstacle. I’ve gone to nature exhibits where snakes are on display, and proudly reached out to barely touch their colorful sides. I saw an exhibit once at the Baltimore Aquarium of water snakes, and I had to admit they were kind of beautiful. And if I think on it hard enough, I’ll admit there was something a little beautiful and noble about the sleek creature swimming through my grass today.
Doesn’t matter. If there was a button I could push to destroy them all, I’d do it in a heartbeat, without a thought to the consequences or the karmic retribution I’d draw down upon myself.