Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day, and Snake Saga, part 2

Update: As my 21-yr. old daughter, PWTH, pointed out in a comment to this post, there is a certain irony to drinking English Breakfast tea on Independence Day. So, yes, I'm out of the closet - I drink tea. From England - I have it shipped directly from London to Louisiana. There you have it.

Original post: When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary.... and the rest of it, brilliantly written by Mr. Jefferson. Here's hoping all of you and yours are having an excellent Independence Day! I've never understood the media's penchant for calling it the "Fourth of July," rather than what the actual holiday is. Our local paper had a banner across the front page wishing us all a happy Fourth of July. Hey, Times, ENGLAND has a Fourth of July! So does FRANCE! What they don't have is an Independence Day that falls on July 4.

I have really seen the actual Declaration of Independence (before Nicholas Cage stole it) in the National Archives - twice. To say that it is awe-inspiring is too mild. The document is humbling. What great minds we have had in our brief history.

And, on a totally different subject, it's time to share the next installment of our ongoing (apparently) saga of Pools versus Snakes. (Daughter, stop reading here) This morning, I opened the back door to go fetch the newspaper (the one proclaiming Happy Fourth of July), and stopped dead in my tracks. Yep. Another snake. A LONG one. He was fairly occupied, as he was in the process of using his mandibles of death to swallow what turned out to be a frog. For those of you who may be tender-hearted, don't worry. No one dies in this post.

I VERY calmly went back into the house to get my son, WD, who is the bravest one of us all. He just needs a big stick & he's ready to rock & roll. He put on some glasses, I got the .410 shotgun, & we went back out to the carport, where said snakie was still using his mandibles as designed. After much discussion, looking (from afar) of the head of said reptile, AND after the dog ran into the carport & scared it into the storage room (which is when the frog escaped), we identified it as a non-poisonous snake. And, as it turns out, it is the same (breed? race?) type of snake that I helped dispatch back in May, a yellow-bellied water snake.

It's like this - if a snake is still, I'm pretty OK (translate: calm). Once that thing starts moving, and they're FAST, that's when I start the dance. You know, the "up on tiptoes, high-C singing, MOVING AWAY" dance So, to complete the story, yon snake tried hiding in the storage room off the carport; WD rooted it out (while I high-tailed it down the driveway for the paper), and the snake scampered off for parts of the yard with more ground cover, presumably to find another frog.

WD came back in the house to tell me that the monster (it truly was at least 3 feet long) had a yellow belly, a very long tapered tail (I saw that part), and its head was in no way that massive arrowhead shape that a moccasin is famous for. Plus, its mouth was pink - not cotton.

So I put away my shotgun (I was ready to save the world), went back to bed, & read my paper while I had my English Breakfast tea.

Happy Independence Day, y'all!


  1. Holy moly my heart jumped into my throat just READING about this! I am so freaked out of snakes ... ish!! You are brave for even coming within SEEING distance of it :)

    Happy Independence Day to you as well!!

  2. Ah, irony...drinking English tea on Independence Day! And you need to TELL me these things!!!