Snake in the Grass


That’s what I posted yesterday, when I came across a long black snake while weeding my front bushes. I was on a phone call and because I have to move around when I talk on the phone (I would make a terrible telephone solicitor or call center employee. I’d wear out entire closets full of shoes just from working a desk job.) I wandered outside and started pulling these huge weeds we had growing up inside the bushes, while I talked to Martha about next year’s football concession stand.


That’s what my friend Mike said when I complained of having writer’s block (fancy name for lazy and unimaginative) and wanted some blog ideas.

Our yard is infested with snakes. We have rats, too, and cockroaches, lizards, Palmetto bugs, killer bees, and I’ve been told that because we have a large pond in our neighborhood, alligators are not out of the question. Strangely, we have almost no mosquitoes. So while danger lurks behind every cabinet door, it’s actually more pleasant to eat outside here. So we’ve got that.

When I first moved to Florida, another friend Mike told me about the snakes. “Red and yellow kills a fellow. Red and black is safe for Jack,” he said, explaining that the markings on the black snakes are what distinguishes between a snake that will inject paralyzing deadly poison out of its fangs into your unsuspecting arm, and one that will just startle you into a fatal heart attack.

Yeah, I got a rhyme for you. It’s a haiku. 

Work in your nice yard.
Bask in beautiful - hey, what’s -
Ahhhhh! Ahhh! Ah Ahhh! SNAKE!!!!

The difference between these snakes living in my yard and my son’s pet snake, Quetzalcoatl, is huge. I used to let Quizzy crawl on my face. You think snakes are cold and slimy, but they’re not. Quizzy was warm and soft, much like an overstuffed Beany Baby that is filled with warm tiny beads. He was a python, but I was never afraid he would strangle me.

These yard snakes, though, forget it. They’re not getting three feet from my neck and head area. They can stay out there, patrolling my yard and swallowing any rats and large bugs that come into the perimeter. But unless they’re going to eat all the weeds, too, they best clear out when I come out with my gardening gloves or the phone.

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