Friday, April 9, 2010

Swallowed Whole

I was minding my own domestic business. Sitting on the floor in my bedroom and sorting through a mound of laundered socks that seemed to lack a significant other, particularly since said cotton companion was most likely on the ground next to the trampoline or abandoned in the neighbor’s yard, I haphazardly glanced towards the window in front of me.

The Holly Tree outside my window appeared to have a branch that was mobile. I blinked my eyes, hoping that what I was seeing wasn’t true, sort of the same way I wish that the parentheses marks between my eyebrows were non-existent, but even the best prescriptive bifocals couldn’t correct the horror show I was facing.

A big, nasty snake with creepy, scaly skin that made my own crawl was looking directly at me through the window. Unrecognizable noises erupted from my lips and my hands began to involuntarily flutter as I encountered a creature that is just plain wrong. Unknowingly, I spun around in a few circles before good sense finally took the place of the bad.

With my eyes never leaving the reptile, I backed slowly towards the phone and dialed the number to animal control, a number that also coincidentally summons my spouse.

My husband answered the line in his office. Skipping pleasantries, I yelled, “You have to come home quick! There’s a giant snake – a BOA CONSTRICTOR - and it’s right next to our house!”

Replying in that irritatingly calm doctor’s voice that has potential to cause my head to spin right off of my body, he responded, “Considering that the Boa Constrictor is primarily found in deserts and tropical forests - places ranging from Northern Mexico to Argentina - I doubt very seriously that a Boa has taken up residence next to our home.”

Speaking as though he were Jack Hanna joyfully educating a TV audience filled with curious boy and girls instead of his very freaked out wife, I replied that I was not looking for information about the life of the snake. In fact, I was calling to see how we could bring about its rightful death.

It’s not as though this were the first time we have had difficulty with critters. We’ve had a phantom skunk in our basement, a wayward bat hanging in our window treatments, a spastic bird in our den, a family of frogs in our mailbox and a herd of aggressive deer residing in our front yard.

Clearly, it should come as no surprise to my spouse that a BOA was lurking outside the bedroom window.

In an even, composed tone that only served to incite my own, my husband asked me to describe the terror before me. After ciphering through descriptions like “big enough to eat me and my three children” and “slimy, black monster sent by Satan”, John determined that the evilness causing such distress was a black snake. He further elaborated, “That’s the kind of snake we want around to kill other bad snakes and rodents. It’s a good snake.”

“Really? A seventeen-foot long reptile with teeth and scales and a slithering tongue is a good snake?” I countered in a high-pitched voice that caused our Labrador to howl. “In my opinion, the only good kind of snake is a dead kind of snake.” Over the phone line, I could hear my husband rolling his eyes. It was that loud.

The oddity of the situation, and all others involving the unwelcomed creatures we’ve experienced, is that it’s not like we live in the country or the jungle where animals are welcomed to roam freely. We live in a neighborhood, in a very developed part of town, with actual running water, inside toilets and working electricity.

My husband did not come to rescue me from the snake that day as sick patients took precedence over hysterical housewife. A priority he will sorely regret one day when the thing swallows me whole.


twinkle said...

Call your daddy!

Just Another Ordinary Miracle said...

It's a king snake. good snake. actually eats the bad snakes..keeps away copperheads (hopefully).

just ask me the science geek.

when all else fails get the broom, knock it out of the tree (if you are brave) and beat the living stew out of it -

seriously - caught one and kept it in my classroom for awhile - it a good one :)it was probably more scared of you (if you were in your school drop off attire)

Joni said...


He's scared of them, too. And he can run faster.

So the snake would get to me first.


Joni said...


Knock it out of the tree?! Seriously? It could fall on my head.

And my joy would be gone forever.

Knox is in my backyard right now. Do you think he could get it for me? : )


Mom of Eleven said...

Hysterical. . I had even heard the story. I loved how you reminded us of all the other living things that seem to congregate near your home. You know, I am the one that lives on a Wildlife Refuge, not you. BTW, J has had to trap 6 opossums and 4 raccoons over the last few weeks. It seems a newspaper advertisement is out in the forest proclaiming our cat food is REALLY good.

Joni said...


Uh-oh. Please send J over with his traps.

I don't think we have raccoons or opossums, but feel like they could show up any minute.


Work In Progress said...

OMG...are those things out already?? We live in the woods and all of my family has been rambling around in the woods thinking we were safe for now...See my post

This incidence scared the hound out of me last summer!

I'm in total agreement with you on that definition that the only good snake is a dead snake!! Amen, Amen and Amen...

nottoooldtolearn said...

Wow! Is it the big scaly thing in the middle of the tree?!?!?!

That is my biggest fear in life - our future plans still have a possible move to your part of the state, but I think that might just work against any excitement of that change!

Yikes - glad you are okay :-)

Joni said...


Yes, they are out unless our neighborhood just happens to be the exception for reptiles coming out of early hibernation.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Apparently, according to those considered reasonable, this was a good snake. The kind that combats the bad.

So, it would be best for you to come retrieve this snake to help you with those in your woods. : )


Joni said...


Please do not let my histrionics prevent you from moving to our area. Not all are prone to the dramatics from which I suffer. There really are normal people in our town. (See Real Life Friends Who Blog link.)

Just make sure you buy snake boots for all of your family members.

Just sayin'. : )


nottoooldtolearn said...


With three boys, I'm definitely used to craziness :-) I would consider it an honor to be a part of your town!

Just waiting on the Lord to tell us what to do. We keep getting the offer to come, but so far, the Lord says not yet.

I've learned (often the hard way) that His plans always work out a lot better than mine - so I will continue to wait. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I'm with you Joni - the only good snake is a dead snake!