In my life I have been awoken out of my slumber a few times. As a rule I cannot ever remember it happening for a ‘good’ reason and today was no different. I would like to tell you I was dreaming of Christmas morning, winning the lottery, or more realistically, a peanut covered donut, but I honestly can’t remember. You see all I can remember was my wife’s frantic voice yanking me from the fog of sleep with one simple word - SNAKE!
Yes we live near the woods and an enormous lake recreation area so animal encounters here are a part of daily life. However the place is still more akin to suburbia central than austere Australia, so the only thing I know about the ‘Outback’, is their Bloomin’ Onions, not their stinkin’ serpents. Most people might wake up to a spider, maybe the occasional bed bug, or heaven forbid, a marauding mouse singing Disney tunes. How did I offend the spirit of Steve Irwin to get the privilege of wrangling a slippery little snake at six in the morning?
Honestly it was not that big of deal once I could get the sleep out of my eyes and see my way to the bathroom. No I am not THAT incontinent but it was where the snake had retreated behind my wife’s floor bound jewelry crate. Thinking like a cornered snake, we set out to prepare the bathroom for trapping, by stuffing up any gaps or routes of egress with towels. My wife is far more level-headed than you might imagine since in the past, with a homemade ‘snare stick’, she has yard-wrangled bigger snakes than today’s 18 inch interloper.
Anyway, the story has a happy ending for all concerned. The snake required only a thin towel over him to calm down enough so I could swaddle it up into a bigger bath towel, for transport out to the forest. My wife got to complete her ablutions in peace, and I got to walk around all day talking like Crocodile Dundee and wearing short khaki pants. Although cottonmouth venomous snakes and their offspring are common in Missouri, I think this fellow was probably a fairly young and harmless rat snake. Hmmm, maybe that’s what explains why I got such a rude awakening this morning – apparently even the wildlife thinks I’m a rat. Little did they know the truth though, my wife thinks I’m a Saint … PATRICK!