The cooler air of fall forces unwelcome outdoor pests to take refuge in my home. A stink bug colony has set up camp in my living room. It doesn't matter how many bugs I relocate (to the toilet) there seems to be a never ending supply of volunteers to assume their place. Air fresheners do little to mask the distinctive odor!
I could handle the army of odoriferous bugs, but I am having a difficult time with the snakes. I was on the phone a few days ago, happily chatting with my Mom while toiling in the kitchen. In mid-sentence my conversation stopped as I let out a blood curdling scream: I spotted a snake in the center of my dining room floor.
I felt a bit like the roadrunner from the Bugs Bunny cartoon as I hung up the phone and vaulted onto the top of my kitchen table. I am amazed how swiftly I could reach high ground considering that I wasn't wearing my running leg!. Robby followed suit and, within seconds we were both peering off the table, staring down at a snake.
We stayed on top of the table for about ten minutes, staring at the serpent invader. My inclination was to stay put until Scott came home, but I wasn't confident that the snake was going to stay still for another two hours. Perching on top of the kitchen table no longer felt like a viable action.
Robby and I debated our plan. He wanted me to hop off the table, go into the kitchen and grab a mason jar. I was then to pick up the snake with the hot dog tongs and place him into the jar so that he could keep him to show his daddy. I wanted to jump off of the table onto the snake, squashing him instantly. I won the debate.
I took a deep breathe and stepped onto the kitchen chair. Screaming "cowabunga" I jumped directly onto the snake. (In retrospect I'm not sure why I screamed cowabunga; it simply felt right at the moment.) We then put the snake into the mason jar and set him on the back porch so that Robby could show his Daddy what was a very dead, partially flattened snake.
Almost immediately after the incident I began to conjure images of the grieving snake mommy and daddy. I imagined the mommy snake weeping and slithering around the yard, looking for her little baby. Tears started to well in my eyes--my guilt definitely got the better of me.
My friends tried to convince me that the snake was more frightened of me than I was of him. I doubt this is true. I feel bad for killing the snake, but in that moment, I didn't know what to do.
While I remain terrified of snakes, I don't want to develop a reputation among the reptile community as a nasty giant-footed squasher. Therefore, I am going to become prepared so I have more options. I'm going to invest in a pair of snake tongs so that another intruder doesn't have to meet the wrath of the carbon fiber foot!