Sometimes, Nature is A Fanged Demon of Destruction That Is Trying To Eat You.

Welcome to Nature.

When you live in the country, like we do, you feel a kinship with Nature.  But you must never lose sight of the fact that Nature isn’t all Bambi and butterflies.  Sometimes, Nature is fanged demons of destruction that are trying to eat you.

Here is an actual, true-life account of one such encounter.

It was early in the morning last week when I went out to do a little gardening.  I weeded the flowerbed next to the garage, walked by the basement door and started on the small bed to the left of it.

A slight movement out of the corner of my eye caught my attention.   There was a huge, black snake sunning itself in front of the basement door, less than 10 feet from where I was standing.  I had just walked blithely by it, within striking range of the behemoth.

He slithered right.   I sprinted left.

I dropped the hose, trowel and gloves and did the Kitchen Door Dash in 2 seconds flat.

As is often the case in these life-threatening situations, my big, strong husband was nowhere to be found.  I grabbed my cell phone, dialed his number and screamed, “A ginormous rattlesnake just attacked me by the basement door!”

“This is Illinois” he said calmly.  “We don’t get many rattlesnakes.  What did it look like?” 

So I gave a factual, succinct description: “It was about 8 feet long, black, as big around as a man’s thigh, with rusty, reddish markings.  It was Biblical – Garden of Eden stuff!  “And yeah, forsooth, verily, the Asp will strike at Man’s heel, and Man will crush the Asp with his heel (though I think a shovel would work better)…” but I’M not going anywhere NEAR that thing.   If you had seen the way it looked at me with its evil, red eyes, rearing back to strike with fangs like daggers…”

“Sounds like a bull snake” he interrupted. “They’re harmless.”

“Harmless, harmless?”  I sputtered.   He didn’t seem to grasp the danger I was in.  I pulled my trump card.  “Like that highly poisonous water moccasin you killed in the barn?”

“That was 15 years ago.  It was a freak thing because of how high the water level was in the river that spring,” he said, still with that infuriating Buddha-like calm.

“If we had one once, we could get one again. “ My logic was faultless.  “Ohhhh” I suddenly groaned, smacking my forehead with my hand.

“What now?” Even through the phone, I could tell he had assumed his Long Suffering Spouse expression.

“The garage door is open, and it was heading that way.”  I dropped my voice to a whisper; afraid the mere mention of it would summon the foul beast.  “What if the S-N-A-K-E got in there?”

“Why are you whispering?  And why are you spelling?” he sounded genuinely puzzled.

I did not deign to answer that.  “What if it got in one of those boxes I’ve got stacked up in the garage to go to the Goodwill? Or, or…it went up the tailpipe of the car, and is waiting under my seat?”

“It’s nothing to worry about.  Poisonous snakes are pretty rare around here,” he said in a Talk Calmly To Soothe the Loony voice. “It’s more afraid of you than you are of it, but…”

“Not ruddy likely.” I snorted.

“…you’d better go shut the garage door anyway.” he continued as if I had not spoken.

Oh.    No.

I like Nature as well as the next city girl, but if wrestling with a 12-foot long Burmese python is the price to be paid for fresh air, then pack my bags and point me toward Gotham.

But there was no one else who could handle the crisis.  The man of the house had abandoned his family and it was up to me to protect our child.  The longer I delayed; the more time Jafar had to slither into our home and hatch some baby serpents.

Armed with only a fireplace poker, I slowly opened the door to the garage and actually put my hand into the viper’s pit.  Keeping my body behind the door, I reached 2 feet (it was a long 2 feet, and I really, really felt the stretch in my shoulder) and groped around until I found the automatic garage door switch.   I hit it, then retreated, slamming the door behind me.   I’ve given up on my car as a lost cause, and haven’t been in the garage since then.

I know what you’re going to say.  You admire my bravery and want to heap praise and glory upon me.   

To this I respond, “Tut, tut.  It was nothing.”  I seek no glory.   I merely did what any mother would do, knowing I was the only thing standing between Mortal Peril and my innocent baby, slumbering peacefully in her bed (after getting in at 3am after a night out on the town, probably doing Jell-O shots with her friends). 

History is full of accounts of women who call up reserves of superhuman strength and courage when their children are in danger.   This is just one more such story.  

Although it is a rather compelling story, if I do say so myself.  One I’m sure many people would want to read.  Maybe Reader’s Digest would be interested in this for a feature article.  Or I could compose a modest Epic Poem.  Anybody know if you use iambic pentameter for those?

About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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35 Responses to Sometimes, Nature is A Fanged Demon of Destruction That Is Trying To Eat You.

  1. bigsheepcommunications says:

    You know, between the dash to the house and the superhuman stretch to hit the garage door button, you’ve gotten more than your fair share of exercise today. Why don’t you take it easy for the rest of the day and maybe tonight your baby can take you out for a jello shot or two?


  2. Danielle says:

    Very well written, gave me a good laugh!


  3. misswhiplash says:

    Your snake grew 4 ft in a few minutes! WOW! that is some monster you’ve got there.
    It’s good to know that regardless of the danger you may have been in did it all for the sake of your slumbering baby girl…mmmmmm’ I shall give this matter further thought


    • pegoleg says:

      I didn’t really take the time to hit it with my tape measure, so I’m approximating on size – 8, 12 – could have been bigger now that I think of it.


  4. Seasweetie says:

    You are my hero! I am have less of an issue with snakes than with mice, but I admire anyone who doesn’t turn into a quivering screaming jello-shot when confronted with such natural terrors. AND you’ve inspired me to write a particular post… thanks!


    • pegoleg says:

      We get mice so often I don’t even bat an eye at them anymore. That’s probably why the snake showed up – it heard about the All-You-Can-Eat Mouse Buffet.


  5. egills says:

    Sorry I can’t stop chuckling long enough to think of something sensible to say…. aren’t you a most wonderful mother and protector of your beloved sproglette to put yourself in mortal danger!
    I’m hugely proud of you, I do hope your hubby realises how lucky he is.


  6. Jane says:

    OMG! Have you thought about having Bill trap and kill the snakes so that you can add some snakeskin accents to those cute little purses and pins you create?


  7. Tori Nelson says:

    Ickkkkkkk. Glad you survived.


  8. Jackie says:

    I love this post, Peg. Especially because it made me feel better about recently attacking a cockroach armed with a cup and a spatula. That, and I imagine the Peg/Peg’s husband dynamic has great hilarity potential. Well done!


  9. MKC says:

    You were so brave to use the poker to close the garage door-good thinking. I’m with you-I do not like snakes but good to know you have that very knowledgable family member! Hope you can get into the garage soon.


  10. Tar-Buns says:

    Haven’t seen snakes here-abouts, but we’re not close to water and deep woods like you are. We do, however, have lots of other bugs and vermin. Spiders IN MY HOUSE are my current bane. They show up everywhere and I get the vac with attachments out and suck them dead!!! Ewww, they even show up in common areas, like over the dish drainer in our kitchen, a busy place, and the bathroom and … save me from the spiders!!! Sniff.


  11. The real creatures to fear are fleas. Get one in your house today, and there will be fifty million of them tomorrow. They’re terrible this year. I’ve bug bombed my house. I’ve bought flea shampoo, flea spray, and flea powder for the cats, powder and spray for the carpets, and other expensive stuff that doesn’t work. I flea comb the cats three times a day, I’ve scrubbed the floors with flea killer sometimes twice a day, and I still think the fleas are winning. If my kids want to see me go freaky, all they have to say is, “Mom, I got six fleas on my legs when I was in the dining room.” I would gladly trade ten million fleas for one big (non-poisoness) snake.
    Note: I’ve never seen a spider climb back down the vacuum cleaner hose, but fleas do!


    • Tar-Buns says:

      Yes, fleas are very nasty and hard to get rid of. Our sister has recently done battle with fleas in their house. Nasty, nasty. Knock wood, we don’t have that trial to battle.


    • pegoleg says:

      I have to agree with you. We were infested a couple of years ago, and I thought I would lose my mind! I took to wearing white socks around the house so I could see them better. My husband and I would be sitting side by side and I looked like I was wearing argyle socks, while he had none. The kids got it somewhere in between. It was a #$^*@ to get rid of them, as you are finding. Good luck!


  12. missumerica says:

    Rock on!!! I swear sometimes you’re speaking just to me! (So the voices in my head are really YOU, huh?! ;)) JUST YESTERDAY one of the kids saw a snake in a bush by our walkway. Clearly I’m not as brave as you are because I taught them that we need to stomp our feet real loud and heavy when we walk past it now so that the snake will be more afraid of us than we are of it (SMART! I KNOW!!) So now we look like a weird little Russian army when we march out to the parking lot. We may be scaring away more neighbors than snakes now! (advice: Don’t call the police when you find a snake INSIDE like I did once in college. They just get irritated, OK?!)


    • pegoleg says:

      That’s a great idea! You’re scaring dangerous wildlife, and training the kids for possible marching band duties. Maybe I’ll try stomping in the garage so I can go get my car again.


  13. Heehee… your conversation with hubby made me laugh. Men can be so infuriatingly unaffected sometimes, eh? I honestly don’t know what I would do if I saw a snake, but it would probably be entirely similar to your actions. I just wouldn’t tell the story nearly as well! In case it becomes needed info (I hope it doesn’t), an infuriatingly unaffected male neighbor told my mother after she found a snake coiled in the garage to leave the garage door open about three inches. When the dew comes in the morning, the snake will slither out because it’s thirsty. Allegedly.


    • pegoleg says:

      What if the snake had already made a nest in the garage before the dew beckoned? She would probably come right back in, right? Did your infuriatingly logical neighbor have any ideas about that,hmm? I would tell your mom, if she gets a snake in the garage, call the know-it-all neighbor and tell him to get it out!


  14. Your are great! I like nature very much but I hate warms and snakes, because I am sure they will hurt me!


  15. Carla says:

    This is fantastic! My son likes to try and catch snakes. He knows what he’s doing, but it sure puts my nervous system into overdrive!


    • pegoleg says:

      My nervous system is twitching in sympathy for yours. Maybe that goes with the territory with boys. My girls, like me, will run screaming in the opposite direction.


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