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We had a visitor recently, one that was neither invited nor expected.
It was of the reptilian types, 5 feet long and slim with a mottled gray and black skin. It seems the storm door that has recently been closing slowly, and sometimes not completely, left just the right amount of space for it to slither into our living room.
I saw its tail disappearing as I reached for the door to enter.
“Snake!” I warned, and stepped gingerly into the house. There it was on the hardwood floor, looking around as if to choose which room to inhabit.
To say that I am not a snake handler would be a gross understatement; I am very leery of these beautiful creatures. This one was obviously not poisonous, with a small, square head. It seemed as surprised to find itself facing me as I was uneasy facing it.
“Get the broom,” I urged Saundra, my wife, frantically.
“ME?!” she replied. An excited discussion ensued over where the broom was last seen. Afraid to lose sight of the snake, I tried to shoo it out with a straw hat — no luck. Instead, it slithered under a leather recliner. Darn!
“Watch and make sure it doesn’t come out from under there!” I ordered, looking for the elusive broom. Saundra seemed unimpressed with her assignment. I returned with the broom.
“Did he leave?” I asked.
“I didn’t see him leave,” Saundra replied, very nervous now.
I peeked under the recliner. No snake.
“He’s probably hiding in the stuffing somewhere,” I reasoned. Prodding the chair with the broom handle but getting no response, I decided to take the recliner, snake and all, through the sliding glass doors to the deck and leave it out there long enough for the snake to depart. It was a struggle to get the recliner out the sliding glass door — like handling a hot potato or a live hand grenade. Back inside and after a search of the house complete with high-powered flashlights to peer into dark corners, closets and behind furniture, we had just begun to relax when Saundra’s shrill voice sent chills up my spine. “There he IS!”
And indeed, there he WAS! He was reaching high, trying to figure out how to get through the sliding glass doors to the deck and freedom. “How did he get over there?” Saundra wanted to know if it was the same one. “Looks exactly the same to me,” I replied. Instant recall of a TV show called “Infested” played in my mind. Visions of hundreds of reptiles in every corner of the house danced in my minds eye.
Cautiously I pushed a door open with the broom handle and he exited as though it was just another day to him, her, it or whatever. “On your way, you gorgeous creature!” I said with false bravado, pushing it along safely with the broom.
Anyone out there want to purchase a nice leather recliner, cheap?