I always considered myself to be fairly tough. I don’t scare easily. I grew up with 5 brothers and a small “wilderness” to explore, so I felt I could handle myself. Well, yesterday as I was walking out to water my garden after we got home from the park, I saw a black thing on the corner of the house. I thought, what is Caleb’s toy snake hanging around out here, and then I gave a muffled scream. It wasn’t a toy.
It was a 4 foot long black snake. It looked like it had been about to climb up the corner of my house to wear some birds were nesting in my eaves. It scared the wits out of me. I am partial to those birds, and opposed to snakes hanging onto my house, so I knocked him off with the broom. Then I went about my business.
Caleb was tracking him, and he was slithering along the side of the house, until he past the door to the basement, which has a broken storm door, that is perpetually propped open. Then he hid behind that and was trapped–this was when I finally thought to grab my camera to take a really lousy photo.
You can sort of see it. I wish I had thought to grab the camera before I knocked it off the house. And I didn’t get a chance to snap any more pictures, because he started crawling up the wall (Caleb was watching him), and then he disappeared. My guess is that he went under the siding and into the house.
I figured this was the last of him (and I really didn’t want to think of him (or HER!) in the house at all). We carried on with the day. Mostly playing monopoly-Caleb went to a neighbor’s house to swim. That night, I went up to take a cold shower to cool off before bed (it’s been HOT). After my shower I went back in the bathroom to brush my hair or teeth or something, and there he was.
I freaked out, and shut the bathroom door and stuffed a sheet under the door. Caleb came up and I had to open the door to show him. The snake was crawling under the bathtub (the board hiding the piping behind the bathtub was popped off (by me earlier). I didn’t know how to get him out, so I opened the window (no screen), and shut the door, and hoped he’d climb out in the night.
We went to bed still a little freaked, and read for a while. Then we went out to get a glass of water, and saw the snake downstairs! In the living room! He slithered into the foyer, and I tried to deter him from going up the steps with the broom. I opened the door in hopes I could just push him outside.
I was trying to manage this snake that was hissing at me and rattling his tail (which didn’t have a rattle on it). It was about eleven at night. I was in my sports bra with no shirt, because it was so hot. I was yelling at the snake, waving a broom, if any of the neighbors saw me, they would have thought I had finally lost it.
I almost had him out the door, when he slithered under the door, and back along the wall, and down the heat vent. That did it. I was appalled. The heating ducts go to every room in the house, including my bedroom! We went up to bed and stuffed the heat vent full of clothes.
Caleb finally fell asleep sometime after midnight, but I barely slept a wink. All I could think about when I closed my eyes was the snake crawling across the floor into my bed. I left the light on all night. Sometime around 2 or 3 am, I thought I heard a bird shriek. But it could have been a cat. I had the fan running, so it was hard to tell.
After dozing off a little when the sky was lightening, I got up and searched the house: boots on, broom in hand. I didn’t find him. I am hoping he ate the damn birds, and went back to the woods away from the crazy human with a broom.
Honestly, I had no idea that I was this afraid of non-venomous snakes. I didn’t really scream and act all girly, but I really wished there was another person there to be the strong one. I’m generally that person when it comes to bugs, mice, even snakes outside. My mom likes to tell the story of how I let go a water snake that my brother had caught when I was little. I let it go right back into the pond that we swam in. And I was the one my roommates turned to on my senior trip when there was a GIANT cockroach in the bathtub.
But a snake in my house is like my worst nightmare. I had many snake dreams growing up, but the one that was the most reoccurring was that there was a hole near my bed where a snake would crawl out. Those dreams were terrifying. But I would never have said I have a horror of snakes or anything. I wouldn’t want one for a pet, but outside I think they are really cool.
Inside, they turn me into a shivering mess.