Sunday, June 29, 2008

I am okay, but the SNAKE was not as lucky

(Repost...originally written & posted to Myspace on date listed below)
Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I am okay, but the SNAKE was not as lucky

Okay, I promised that when the swelling in my hand went down, I would tell everyone what happened. It has taken nearly a week for the swelling in my left ring finger to go down enough to stand to type more than a few sentences at a time. Before anyone gets all upset and worried, no, I did not suffer a snake bite, but I was injured nonetheless.

Tuesdays, as you know, are Chick-Flick nights at Cyndi's. Last Tuesday, was a particularly warm, sunny day and when I arrived, Cyndi was seated in the "green room", a section of her front porch enclosed in lattice, that is soon to be a screen porch. It contains a white wicker set with green cushions and green indoor/outdoor carpeting. I took my place on the wicker love seat and we chatted about how nice it was outside and various things that had gone on during the day. She had cut back some of the shrubs, so we had a better view of the neighborhood.

About fifteen minutes into my visit, Maddie, the 6 year old, came out , wearing just a t-shirt and her panties, to ask her mother some innocuous question. I commented on her choice of attire and how young ladies should think about such things before traipsing out onto the porch in full view of the neighborhood. She just stood there, starring out into space. I thought she was ignoring me, like sometimes she likes to do and Cyndi said "Did you hear what we are saying?" Her gaze was fixed on the wall between Cyndi and me. "Yeah, but…" her little voice trailed off. Cyndi and I followed her gaze and much to our surprise, hanging from the brick wall, was a large, brown and yellow snake!

His head had been less than a foot from my own, his body following the mortar line along the wall and up the corner. He was muddy brown with alternating yellow stripes. The middle of his body was perched atop a group of bamboo tiki torches leaned against the wall and his tail seemed melt into the corner just a few inches from the eave. He was about four feet long , about as thick as a silver dollar, with the exception of the section atop the tiki torches, a lump the size of a fist, evidence of his last meal. He did not blend into the red and black brick at all, so I do not see how we missed him!

Contrary to my own belief, I did not have a heart attack on the spot, but it's a thousand wonders we did not kill each other trying to escape the green room. We stood in the alcove by the front door, with our hands over our hearts and tried to collect ourselves. Maddie summoned the other children, who had to come see the yet-to-be-identified snake. Mac, the oldest child and resident animal enthusiast, excitedly took pictures of our unwelcome visitor with Meryn peering from behind her, squealing. Matt-Matt, the baby, was all underfoot, unsure as to what exactly was happening, but happy to be in the fray.

It was soon established that Cyndi owned no gardening tools. We discussed several, less than savory methods of dispatching the reptile and the consequences and clean up methods of each. We decided to summon Russell, the neighbor, not because he was male, but because he was surely better equipped (and most certainly owned a weapon of some description) to handle the situation.

I was left to "watch the snake," who seemed somewhat oblivious to the pandemonium raging just a few feet from him, while Cyndi walked across to Russell's. As she walked across his yard, it dawned on me that perhaps the neighbor boy up the street who cuts the grass may have some sort of garden implements we could use when it happened. Never taking my eye off the snake, I stepped to my left to lean out of the alcove and share my epiphany. I lost my footing and fell off the porch onto the scalloped concrete edging that separated the flower bed from the walkway. My full weight came down on my left hand, gripping my cell phone like a vice and my left elbow and hip came down on the edger like a sack of potatoes. But I never dropped my cell nor did I take my eyes off the snake.

Throbbing and bleeding, I scrambled to my feet. I hurt everywhere at once and jumping up too quickly made me feel faint. I couldn't gather enough breath to yell at Cyndi, who was returning, alone, from Russell's. All I could do was repeat " I fell, I fell," over and over. While she called her boyfriend (who was out on a call and no where near close enough to rescue us), I went in to wash my hands and survey the damage. The heel of my left hand was scrapped and bloody, as was my left wrist down to my elbow and two fingers. The nail of my left ring finger was so scratched up, all the nail polish was gone. This finger was also rapidly swelling and turning a lovely eggplant color. The whole left leg of my pants was muddy, but thankfully, and surprisingly not torn, despite the fact the skin underneath was cut up and bleeding from my hip to my knee. I changed into a pair of Cyndi's lounging pants and went back onto the porch.

David had suggested we call the city, to see what type of animal control they may have. The dispatcher promised that someone would be out right away and soon we were joined by two of Moody's finest boys in blue. Apparently the fire department felt the police were better equipped to handle this, given they had guns.

The banter between us and the nervous officers would fill this blog alone, so I will just paraphrase for the sake of time and space. The first officer informed us he would be unable to shoot the snake because of its position on the brick wall (Well Duh!) . He attempted to pick the snake up with his extendable baton, something the snake wanted no part of. The second officer, who kept reminding us that he was not sure his salary covered this type of public service, used the tiki torch and together they attempted to move the increasingly agitated snake.

Mr NoShoulders let go of his hold on the wall and dropped to the floor between the love seat and the chair, attempting to hide under the table in between. The first officer tried to loop the snake around the baton, while the second held the cup-end of the tiki torch down over its head, all the while leaning over an assortment of furniture in the corner of the green room. "Oh if I only had a machete' this would be over real quick" the first officer lamented. Cyndi & I exchanged our "Oh, I could have had a V8" look and she excused herself to go back in the house.

I know that I have mentioned before that my best friend is a black belt. At this time, may I add, she is well versed in several types of martial arts weaponry and actually owns those in which she is proficient.

She returned a few moments later. "Will this do?" she asked grinning, stealthily unsheathing her 36 inch Samurai sword from its scabbard. The officers looked at her, then at each other and agreed in unison that the sword would more than do the trick.

Officer One made quick work of the snake and soon removed its writhing, headless body from the green room. Officer Two was enthralled, asking Cyndi about the disciplines she'd studied and the other types of weaponry she could use. She was showing him a short sword kata when the third police car pulled up.

"Oh great, " I said to Cyndi, "What on earth are your neighbors gonna think? You're in the front yard with a Samurai sword, I'm bleeding all over the place and there are three police cars in your drive way.

"Oh well, they already think we're a "special couple" anyway.

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