It's the most wonderful time of the year.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

It Almost Ate Me

For reals.

I walked out to the back edge of the yard to water our dogwood tree. On my way back, while minding my own business, I [luckily] happened to look down...and see a big snake staring at me. It almost scared me to death. I ran around it onto the porch...where there conveniently happened to be a hoe. (No, Mariah Carey was not on my porch. A garden hoe, silly!) I looked at the hoe, and pretty much knew I wasn't going to be able to rally the courage to kill this snake. But then I thought about how close it was to the house and how I rarely pay attention to where I am walking. I pictured myself just casually walking through the yard and stepping right on it - like I almost had moments earlier. I also thought about Buster and how much time he spends by himself on the porch. I couldn't let a snake eat Buster Cat Nixon!

I had to do something. Christopher was, OF COURSE, playing softball, so I took a deep breath, picked up the hoe and went back outside. I've seen other people kill snakes with garden tools. How hard could it be? One solid whack, two pieces, right? Soooo wrong.

I crept up behind it, raised the hoe and then brought it down. I brought it down as hard as I could, and tried to aim perfectly. I felt like one of those guys trying to win a teddy bear at the state fair with one of those mallet things. (I wonder if those guys also feel like they might throw up at any minute?)

Well - I hit the snake, but instead of separating it into two pieces, like I had hoped, I mostly just angered the snake. Crap. We stared at each other for several minutes before he started to slowly slither away again.

(I should also mention here, that as soon as I struck the snake, I felt immense guilt. You know how I feel about animals. If that snake was in a cage in someone's house, I would have picked it up and played with it. To see it curl up in pain, really made me feel bad. Guilty.) That being said, I decided I would have to hit it again. Clearly, I had just not hit it hard enough the first time. You might guess that the second swing didn't result in two pieces of snake either. This time, he was not going to turn his back on me. We stared each other down for a good 20-30 minutes before he started to move again.

At this point, I was shaking so badly, I didn't know if I could even lift the hoe. I did. I missed. I pulled it up immediately and swung again. Wow. Open mouth, cobra position, hissing, the whole nine yards. I think he was really loosing patience with me. Again we just stared at each other. I don't think I could have possibly gathered enough courage to do it again. I started trying, but mostly I just kept dancing around him. I even shrieked a few times. I'm not sure if it was the dancing or the shrieking...or the awkward movements with the hoe, but something caught our neighbor's attention and I heard "Ginger? Are you trying to kill something?" Our neighbor came out to her backyard and I explained the situation. She said her husband was on his way home and she would send him right over when he got home.

I have to admit that I didn't try nearly as hard to gather the courage to hit the snake again after she said that. The snake and I just stared at each other. For a long time. I started to wonder if my neighbor worked in South Carolina, but it didn't matter to me. I was willing to wait. I'm not sure how long it was, but eventually I heard him say something behind me. I turned around and he was carrying a rather large shovel through the yard.

I stared in shock as he pounded this snake with the shovel. Multiple times. From directly above. And it would. not. die. Can you imagine how long I would have been out there with that hoe??? There was no way I would have ever been able to kill it! I would have died from fear first. Eventually he picked it up and carried it out to the woods and hit it some more. He assured me it was dead, but that it might wriggle around some more. Psh - like I was going to go check or something. This had turned out to be almost a two-hour ordeal.

Christopher called not long after I came back in - all shakey and sweaty.

"Hi! What are you doing?"

"I almost died!"


"A snake almost ate me."

After he came home, I got the flashlight, my camera, and a tape measure. I made him get the hoe. We went out to the woods. He pulled the snake out.

(somehow it got skinny. do snakes deflate when they die?)

(incase you can't see, that's about 45 inches. aka 3 feet, 9 inches...and it wasn't even pulled tight.)

(go ahead - click the picture - make it bigger.)

I am telling you right now. Don't you DARE leave comments about "It's just a black snake. Black snakes are good. They kill rodents. You are horrible." That thing had teeth. I like rodents. I will feed a rodent brie en croute. I am not terrible. Didn't you hear? He would have eaten Buster Cat. If you would like to comment on my bravery, prowess and heroism, you are welcome and encouraged to do so.


  1. Update: Christopher said he wouldn't have killed it. Oh hells yes he would have.

    He also just admitted that when he talked to me on the phone, he was sure the snake was the size of a large earth worm. Hell-o! I said it almost ate me! If it had been a mere 18-21 inches longer, it could have swallowed me whole!

  2. OMG!!! I would have died!! I am so afraid of a snake. You should have called us and I would have sent Jon over!! He's already had to exterminate two at our house this year. That "good black snake" was in your yard after those pretty little birdies.

  3. I am right with had to go. And this is coming from the girl who grew up in the mountains in the woods with black snakes living all around us!! I found a brown snake back when I was preggers with Sawyer. It was hanging out near my garage and of course Scott was at work. My mailman actually stopped and helped me kill it so it would not slither into the garage and take up residence.

  4. It's just a black snake. Black snakes are good. They kill rodents. You are horrible. Just kidding, but I do have to tell you, I feel kind of bad for the snake. He didn't go quick and it looks like between you and the neighbor, you kind of tortured him.

    Also, I feel a little bit better about snakes. He let you essentially beat the sh** out of him and he just snarled at you? I would have eaten your a**!

  5. Ginger, you are a nut. Poor snake :)

  6. Eeeek! I'm with you, Ginger. I'd have kept smacking that thing with the hoe until my arms fell off. Heebie jeebies, big time. But your description of the incident is hysterical!

  7. Damn, Ouida! I said I felt bad! It just couldn't stay. I really thought it would just split in two and die. That was my last battle with a snake. I couldn't do it again. Aside from my obvious poor skill set, it just freaked me out. I was jumpy all night.

  8. I'm fairly sure snakes do not "deflate" when they are killed. They deflate when people beat on them with hoes and shovels for 2 hours...

  9. Wow, I am amazed at your bravery, power and awe inspiring kill tactics. Seriously though, the snake had to go.

  10. Snakes are afraid of people you know... He was as terrified as your were of him. I mean look at him, he was taking a beating and was afraid to move. He was thinking to himself, "I just ate one of the humans birds from the feeder they put out for me... err, them (look at the buldges in its stomach). If I let her beat on me a time or two, she will go inside and i will get outta here and leave." They will never come back. think about it...Have you ever seen the same snake twice?

    I didn't change your mind? That's OK, Kendra makes me kill them too...

  11. OK, Ginger, reflection time set in. Bear with me. Snakes make for GREAT target practice. Does Christopher not remember me shooting one out of a tree with a 22 rifle, just because Kendra wanted it DEAD??!! I know some people are saying (to their computer), "but that snake wasn't doing anything, just hanging around." True, so true, BUT my daughter didn't want it around, and I totally agreed with her. I was very humane about it. One clean shot and the snake hung in two pieces...almost total decapitation! Christopher has been coached all his life that "the best defense is a good offense". You're right Ginger....that snake had to go!

  12. Yes, ball players, I do know what coaches say about offense/defense. But, hey, we're talking SNAKES here!!

  13. So a mere 24 hours later, and I am feeling really bad about this. That poor thing was terrified for almost two whole hours. :-/

  14. Ginger, i have a confession to make...... the reason we left you at lunch is because a black snake was joining us. he had heard about you and asked that we leave you behind. you know how whiny snakes can be.

  15. Ginger,

    Did you see my photos on my FB? The ones of Reynolda Gardens? I took a lot of beautiful photos of flowers and then, right there over my head was this same type snake. It ate the eggs out of a bird's nest. It IS a blacksnake for sure. I Googled it then to see what I took a photo of. They do eat rats and mice. So you whacked him he's a goner. Now, when you close those blue eyes to go to sleep and you feel something furry run across your will be the mouse that snake would have eaten for you. Not a pet mouse, as we had, but a nasty, wild, germ carrying outdoor mouse.......sleep well sweetheart...:)

  16. Thanks, Mom. Like I said - PERFECTLY fine with rodents. They are cute.

  17. I'm VERY impressed you did that.