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Snakes on the plains

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Updated Jul 9, 2015

You know what happens in Ohio when it rains for months on end and the grass doesn’t get cut, because you’re away in a big truck and your teenage son loses his mind and doesn’t mow?

Snakes.

snakes on a planeSnakes happen around our house anyway, because we’re surrounded on three sides by farmland and one side by pasture. When the fields are in, there are plenty of fat corn snakes. We actually don’t mind the snakes, when they keep to themselves and don’t scare the bee-jeejees out of me every chance they get, because without snakes we would probably be overrun with mice, moles, toads and frogs. I consider the snakes a necessary evil, but I don’t want to see them, ever. I agree completely with the sage words of Bill “L.A. Rookie” Weekley, which are:

“Five kinds of snakes I don’t like. Big snake, little snake, live snake, dead snake and little squiggly things on the ground that look like snakes.”

I was told many years ago when I moved to Ohio that there are no poisonous snakes here, which happens to be a gigantic filthy lie. I’m from South Georgia. I know full well what a water moccasin looks like, and I’ve seen them in farm ponds in Southern Ohio, so yes, there are poisonous snakes in Ohio, thankyouverymuch. Also, I almost picked up a pygmy rattler in the woods in Kettering, Ohio, because I thought it was a bungee cord, and I’m pretty sure they’re poisonous – so need I go on? Snakes can’t read highway signs, they don’t get to the Ohio border and say, “Well crap, we’re in Ohio, gotta turn around.”

Southern Ohio has poisonous snakes, and they make me nervous.

Upon recently returning home, I first had a nuclear episode with the boy regarding the grass and general jungle-like quality of the yard. I then set about mowing in the rain, because it’s still raining in Ohio and it may never stop. (I’m going to insert here that to the kids credit, he has been working three different jobs this summer, and it really has rained quite a bit – so don’t be as hard on him as I was about the snake-grass, because I truly made him miserable over it. I’m allowed to. I’m the mom.)

George had to kick me off the truck and continue on to his final this week, because I have family coming in from Georgia and he was sweet enough to go out of route a little to get me home, so I can see my cousins. This is hard for both of us. I hate leaving the truck and having him go on without at least getting to sleep at home one night, so bear in mind that I was already emotional when I got the mower out and began the Great Snake Hunt of 2015.

Three passes into the three acres of uncut wilderness and I had seen two well-fed corn snakes and a black snake that was big enough to eat a human baby. I’m going to admit it, when I called George I was slightly hysterical.

“Hey babe, what’s up?”

“Snakes. There are snakes everywhere. Anything but effing snakes.

“Baby? What’s going on?”

“There is a black snake living by the barn that pulled a knife on me and told me he’d cut me.”

“Are you mowing? Or drinking?”

“I’m mowing! Your son didn’t mow and it’s a mess, it’s a snakey-ass mess! I am going to punch that kid in the head at least once for every snake I run over!”

“Well make him do it, why are you out there?”

“He’s working today and tomorrow and my cousins will be here before he has time to do it.”

“He can do it when he gets home from work, he’s got a flashlight.”

“Oh my God, you’re not sending my baby out into the darkness with all these snakes.”

“How did we get from punching him in the head a lot to being worried about him mowing in the dark?”

“If I disappear, check the barn. There’s a reason we haven’t seen any new barn kittens, I’m pretty sure there’s an anaconda dragging wildebeests from the pasture into it…”

“Are you sure you’re not drinking?”

Unfortunately, about three minutes later, a deluge of biblical proportions came, complete with the only other thing I’m terrified of, which is lightning, so my cousins will likely see my yard in all its jungle-like glory. We’ll make sure to keep the kids and small dogs away from the barn, just in case…

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