Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A really big snake.

We had just finished a picnic of chick-fil-a in our backyard.  I was slowly bringing things back into the house, folding the picnic blanket....cleaning up.  Rob is holding Caroline and calls me to come look at something above him.  He is standing under a pergola, which has a really massive Carolina jasmine vine growing over the top of it.  The previous owners had stapled this black netting under the top of the pergola so that when the leaves from the jasmine fell, they would not fall on their head, but be caught by the netting.  I'm thinking, "okay, honey, be right there...just let me..." when I hear him say with a little bit of panic in his voice, "Ian get inside right now.  Ian....get....inside!"  So, I grab up Ian (save the kid, ask questions later, right?  Maybe it's a yellow jacket nest!)  Toss him into the garage and start to close the garage door, and Rob is trying to get in quickly with Caroline at this point.  He tells Isabel to take over Caroline, so now I know there is something scary out there.  All the kids go inside, and I go over to the pergola and look up.

"Is that a snake?"  he asks.

When I start to realize what he is talking about, my mind recoils at the thought that this is a real live snake hiding up in the pergola....sure, we have seen a snake living up there before.  But this snake's belly was fatter than my arm. 

Oh.  My.  Gosh.

My mind tries to think of any other possibility of what this thing could be until I see it's scales.  And each scale is the size of a fingernail.  I am starting to think in expletives about now.  But I tell my husband that it is definitely just a really big rat snake....I know, because I saw something on the internet about how they can get really, really big....in strange cases.

He asks if I think the previous owners let loose a giant python.

We start thinking about the movie Anaconda.

When I say "big", it was a big snake.

By now, we are sure it is a snake, so we do the only possible thing to do.  We go inside and load as many guns as we can carry. 

I'm thinking, "if a snake that big is up in the pergola...."

Fill in the blank:  it could eat my kids.
                             does it have a mate hiding under the deck?
                             at some point, it was on the ground.
                            what if it had come into the garage?
                             that thing could probably constrict me!
                             what if a bullet doesn't kill it?
                             I wonder how far it can strike.
                            how are we going to get it down?

We are armed and he decides to poke it.  It doesn't move.

"I think it's dead," he says.

"There is no way it is dead.  It's just hanging out.  That's what big snakes do."

He pokes it some more and it doesn't move...he notices that it's belly looks collapsed.

Finally we are fairly convinced that maybe we won't have to shoot it up, and that it is indeed a really large dead snake. 

So he gets a ladder and climbs up with a gun at the ready, just in case....and starts to pull it out.

The skin comes apart in pieces.

That's when we realize that it is not in fact a black rat snake.

It's not a real snake at all.  Dang previous owners must have thought it was funny to scare someone senseless with a really big blow-up snake. 
We laughed about it.  Mostly in relief.  I sort of wanted to cry.  I didn't even want to touch the fake snake. 
Ugh.  I hate it.



Joy Beyond the Cross said...

AHHHHHHH!!!!!!! Oh my goodness, that is crazy. Why would anyone leave that there? I mean, is that some sick way of showing hospitality? Hey, come have a nice picnic lunch under here and then casually get them to look up and what...wait for their guests to FREAK OUT!! That is some seriously crazy stuff. I am glad that it was fake after all, but I am sorry you guys had to have the wits scared out of you first!

Mrs. Amen said...

I have to second M...AHHHHHHH! Not funny. Essentially, if it was my house and it was a real snake I would have to move. Immediately. If not sooner.

When I lived in Oklahoma, I saw a tarantula on my back door one night when I was outside with the dogs. The next day I put my house on the market to move back to Michigan. Seriously, no snakes or big spiders I. My vicinity. Ever.