My 5-year old daughter just saw her first “real live snake.” In fact, she came face to face with one yesterday in my parent’s garage.
Allow me to set the scene …
I was inside the house working on dinner while my parents and Stephanie were working in the yard. Earlier in the day we had been rearranging ferns outside and dad was explaining to Stephanie about using a stick to beat around in the fern and the pots to make sure there were no “critters” hiding in them.
After resetting the ferns without incident, we continued the yard work and talked about the huge writing spiders that were throughout the backyard. Needless to say, our day was filled with educational critter moments.
Shortly before dinner, dad pulls out the lawnmower and sets about cutting the yard. I retreat inside to finish dinner prep while mom and Steph weed and water the front beds. They’d been outside for quite a while when I thought I heard muffled, albeit highly distressed, crying from the garage. I stopped what I was doing and stuck my head out the garage door to see if I could be of assistance. I stood there, with my left foot on the threshold of the garage door and the back door wide open, and didn’t see Stephanie. I listened for a second to see if I could hear her crying any longer. When I didn’t, I thought I would just step back inside and that was when I saw him!
About a foot in front of me on the garage floor was a slow-moving snake. From what I gathered he was about 2 or 3 feet long and was headed out from under the car. I was on the phone with James at the time (I really wanted to take a picture of the snake but couldn’t get the phone around fast enough) and started screaming for mom or dad to come. Of course, the lawnmower all but drowned out my calls. So, I stood there with the door open watching to see which way he was heading so that we could locate him and usher him out of the garage at some point.
About the time he scooted between two boxes, my mom appeared at the garage entrance. The snake was completely hidden between the boxes at this point. So, I passed along the location of the snake and went to open the front door to get Stephanie inside.
Apparently, Stephanie had gotten hot and was headed inside to get a drink and see me. She got all the way inside the garage, screamed, and ran back out to her Boo (that’s what the kids call my mom). Mom heard her screaming and came running. She shuttled her back to the front door after assessing that she had not been bitten and then came to find me.
Cut back to the front door …
I open the door and see a saucer-eyed Stephanie standing there. As soon as I get her inside and shut the door behind her, she collapses into my arms in heaving sobs. “Mommy. I. saw. a. SNAKE!!”
Once she was calmed down, we head back outside to see if we can be of any assistance. As we pick up the still-running watering wand that mom hastily discarded and finish watering the front beds, we keep a wary eye for stray reptiles and listen as a tiny battle wages inside the garage.
My mom and dad uncovered the snake’s hiding place and, sure enough, there he was. He was grayish with a black pattern and about 2.5 feet long. Needless to say, the poor critter died valiantly and dad hauled him off to the woods down the street. He couldn’t tell what kind he was but did not think he was poisonous.
After all was said and done, Stephanie was soaring on an adrenaline rush and kept retelling the story to anyone who would listen! We tried to ascertain how close she came to the snake since she was all alone when she encountered him. She demonstrated how close she came (in her flip flops, no less) to the snake before stopping. Seems she was only a couple of inches from him and actually had to look down to see him. Her story remains the same on that each time she tells it, so we are fairly certain she is telling the truth. I just thank God that she didn’t step on him!
Well, first snake encounter down! Welcome to the South, my child!