My husband, Jim, and I live on eighteen wooded acres in the foothills of the Cumberland Plateau. One of the things we like about our tiny kingdom is the wildlife. We have deer, coyote, Bard Owls that sing duets, hawks, and all sorts of other critters.
Unfortunately, we also have snakes.
One warm April evening, our two outside dogs, an almost Labrador retriever, and a sort of Alaskan Malamute, (Kismet, my Seeing Eye German Shepherd, having her preferred spot of honor inside) started barking and barking. Eventually, Jim went out to see what they were barking at. It was a Copperhead snake. These guys are poisonous so, naturally, Jim disapproved of him hanging out in the dog pen. Grabbing a broom, not the greatest weapon but the only one to hand, Jim pinned down the snake and yelled for help.
“What’s up?” said I, as I opened the door on to the back porch.
“Get the gun!”
We have a shotgun for one, and only one, purpose,: extermination of poisonous slithering things. As this was the first snake of the season I had to wrack my brain to remember where the dang gun was. Grabbing the shot gun I then spent five minutes dashing all over the house trying to find shot gun shells and the key to unlock the gun. A blind woman running around with a gun in her hand?, Ooy!
Eventually I rounded everything up and delivered them to Jim, who dispatched the snake to snake heaven.
We don’t have what you would call a typical suburban lawn. Well, we don’t have much of a lawn at all, but what we do have is steeply sloped and kind of a pain to cut. Jim’s general attitude towards cutting the lawn is, “Only when I have to.” This, coupled with the difficult terrain has resulted in unusual wear and tear on the lawn mower. The lawn mower, in fact, is held together by bungie cords and vice grips.
Jim cut the grass last weekend for the first time this year. So there he was, be- bopping along behind the lawn mower, cogitating on whatever it is that men cogitate on while cutting the grass, and then it happened. There, right before him, was a four- foot rattle snake, coiled to strike. Thinking fast, Jim realized that, by the time he dashed in the house for the gun, the snake would probably have slithered away.
Taking swift and decisive action, he lined up the lawn mower with the position of the coiled snake and went into “kill” mode.
Another one bites the dust.