I was sat in bed watching early morning news or something when I heard my wife call me with that voice-inflection that means trouble. You know, when they call out your name but end the word with a voice that trends towards only-dogs-may-now-hear. It sounds like a question but it isn’t a question; it is a statement, “Sweetheart, something is bad wrong and I need you now!
I bail out and find her leaned against the hall wall, shaking a bit. “There is a snake in the kitchen floor.”
‘What kind?’ I’m inquisitive to a fault.
“A big one.” Okay. That’s all I need to know.
I ease into the kitchen, and see nothing. Damn. ‘Baby, next time just back off but keep watch so I’ll know where to look for him.’ I start looking along walls and into corners and finally find the critter between the cabinets and the wall. Can’t get my arm into the space. And I’m naked, so I’m kind of restricted in what I’m willing to get within bite-range. ‘Stand here and watch in case he decides to move.’
Humph. I go and slip into a pair of moccasins and a pair of BVDs. Clothes make the man, I’ve heard. I return and am assured that he’s still there. He is. I take a yardstick and try to rake him (or her, I do not judge) out where I can grab him, but he moves down the wall behind the cabinets and ends up behind the refrigerator. I pull the ‘fridge out and he’s coiled up back there acting all bitey and such and to show that it’s not a bluff, he strikes at my hand when I go to grab him.
My wife responds as I’ve come to know and love…”Shoot him, shoot him, shoot him, shoot him.” Sweetheart, this is our stuff in here. Everything I own is going to blow a hole right through him and then tear up some of my stuff. More better that I should just throw him out the door. As soon as I can get my hands on him, that is. I finally pin him to the floor with a broom, then grab him right behind the head and carry him way out beyond the boundaries of the yard.
The whole thing was my fault. The weather was beautiful, and I’d left the back door open when I went out to feed the fishes. The snake had crawled in through the open door and did what they do. My fault.
A spot of early morning excitement, and when it was over they were still talking about the unguarded border and the invasion from the south.