This may not sound like much but for me, it is.
When I got home I did a few indoor chores and then went out to clean the hen house and put fresh hay in the nests and this is what I found.
And we had just been talking about not seeing any snakes in the yard this year and how we hadn't had an egg-stealing snake in the hen house in forever and there you go. This was not a large snake and yet, it was slowly opening its mouth wide enough to take in an egg and if you look closely at the part of the snake down by the right hand corner, you can see that it had already eaten one.
In theory, I do not mind snakes at all. Well, not non-poisonous snakes like this one. It was just a little oak snake, harmless as can be, good at catching rats and mice and obviously, helping to control the egg population. Of course I immediately took that picture and then sent it to Mr. Moon and to Jessie and Lily and then I got the pitchfork and carefully, without harming the snake, managed to get it out of the hen house. Mr. Moon immediately started texting me about what I should do next. First he thought that I should kill the snake and had a specific tool in mind (a bush hook?) with which to do that.
Now you have to understand that I have seen this man carry other snakes which have been captured in our hen house in sturdy bags to a far and undisclosed location to release alive but he has also witnessed a snake killing and eating a young chick which has sort of made him feel less lenient and tolerant of snakes in the hen house.
I answered him that no, I could not kill the snake and simply removing it from that nest was the extent of my snake abilities. He then said that I should "put it in a box" and that he would take it and release it somewhere.
I tried. Oh, dear reader, I tried.
With the pitchfork, of course, because I was not getting any closer to the poor serpent than the length of a garden implement.
First I could not find a box. Then I decided just to use a small ice chest. Then I did get the snake in the ice chest but the snake knew that was not a good place to be and slithered out before I could get the lid on it.
I tried again.
At which point I said, "Fuck it," and stopped trying. Its little eyes just appeared to be pleading with me to give him one more chance.
So I texted Mr. Moon that no, I could not get it in a box and that was that. I'd almost had a heart attack so forget it.
I am SUCH a wuss.
Meanwhile, as all of this was going on and I was trying to weave a snake into the tines of a pitchfork and sweating like I was in the waiting room of hell and getting and sending texts to my husband, Lily and Jessie started sending me pictures of the day's outing.
Here are some of them.
They are holding hands!
I don't think that Levon is convinced about the authenticity of the unicorn.
They actually got some milk out of that udder!
There is something about this picture which is absolutely magical. Would you look at that girlchild and the way she is looking at her cousin?
And I gave up the opportunity to be there with those pretty babies for a walk and snake wrangling?
To add insult to injury, the snake is still at loose and I am in such pain that if I had any sense at all I'd be in the tub with Epson salts or in bed.
I have no sense.
I ironed some shirts.
Which means I shall surely go to heaven.
Tropical Storm Gordon is passing by us in the Gulf today on its way to Louisiana and I hope all of the best for the people there. We have been getting gusts of wind and some nice rain from it, on and off. It's funny how you can walk outside and know just by the way the air feels that there is a big storm somewhere nearby.
When I was walking, I swear I could hear the trees discussing it amongst themselves in the very tops of themselves, a conversation of leaves. I eavesdropped as I made my way down the gray road, chopping off the miles, one step at a time. The trees did not seem to mind me and I felt honored by that.
I hope that snake enjoys his healthy meal. Do you suppose it hurts when he poops out the eggshells?
I have no idea.
As soon as you said you picked that thing up and took it out of the henhouse I was in awe. That's one more step than I'd be able to make.ReplyDelete
WITH A PITCHFORK! NOT MY HAND!!!!Delete
I was thinking you could tie the snake in a bow. Or a knot.ReplyDelete
I am glad you let it live. It would have broken me a little to know that you killed it. It’s just doing snake things, ya know? If it had gone after a chicken that would have been different.
Love the grandbaby pictures. I hope they will always be close.
This morning I noticed that the chickens did not want to walk through the hen house which makes me wonder if the damn thing has been back again. I looked but didn't see it. Nor did I see any eggs and usually there are by this time of day.Delete
I hope that the cousins will always be close too.
I loved be that Maggie and August are really starting to enjoy each other’s company. That hand holding photo, oh my. As for that snake I think I’d have just walked away. To me, you are hella brave.ReplyDelete
My innate desire to protect my chickens seems to over ride my fear of snakes. At least small, non-poisonous ones.Delete
I'm glad you didn't kill the snake. After all, a snake's gotta eat. Such gorgeous photos of your family.ReplyDelete
Shaving a minute off your minutes per mile is quite a feat! No wonder you are sore after that and the snake wrangling.
Well, yes. Snakes do have to eat but I sure would rather they don't eat my eggs, dammit!Delete
Surprised that the snake was so frisky with an egg in the middle. You did a good thing and snakes will be talking about your kindness for generations.ReplyDelete
Your babies , my god. I just become all clucky and goo goo over them. Thank you for the photos, even though you had other things to do...
Haha! I doubt it, Linda Sue! But maybe yes- I will be a snake goddess.Delete
The pictures were just too cute not to post.
Eve was also tempted by a serpent and likewise did eat of The Egg of Knowledge.ReplyDelete
And thus sayeth the Lord- "The flesh of the chicken is delicious, especially battered and fried!"Delete
You're braver than me by a mile. If I had seen a snake that size on my property, poisonous or not, I might have to move. :)ReplyDelete
Just kidding, of course, but I really don't like snakes and I would never have been able to wrangle with it as you did. That would have been a job for the male member of the household!
(Despite my fear of snakes, I'm glad you didn't kill him. Snakes have their place....I just want that place to be well out of my sight!)
But what can you do when there is no male member (haha!) around to deal with snakes? I did once call a friend to come over and remove a snake from behind my microwave.Delete
The photos are lovely. As for the snake wrangling, I don't know. I've only ever seen one snake around here in all my life, a garter snake, and that was just last weekend. It's too damn cold here for most of them:)ReplyDelete
I wouldn't have been able to kill it either though.
I think I could kill a poisonous snake but I'm not sure about that. I'd just as soon not have to deal with that situation.Delete
I just wish the rat snakes around here didn't look so much like copperheads. but yay you for not killing the snake. s/he does a service even if it costs an egg or two.ReplyDelete
You're right, Ellen. I just hope it doesn't cost me many, many eggs. That thing seemed mighty hungry!Delete
I'm glad the snake didn't die, although it was probably a little traumatized and sorry it didn't get that second egg! I wonder if your hen-house needs a snake-proofing treatment, or is that even possible?ReplyDelete
Not even possible. Nope. I keep it open all day so that the hens can go in and lay and the ventilation allows for them to enter even if the door is closed. Plus, snakes are really good at getting through small spaces.Delete
"I ironed some shirts.ReplyDelete
Which means I shall surely go to heaven. "
HaHaHaHaHaHaHa!!! Yup, I'd feel the same way if it was me.
You crack me up.
Many times and in many ways.
I too listen to the leaves whispering among themselves.
PS last night we had our first frost of the season, here; fortunately we'd covered the tomatoes and peppers
A frost! Oh my. I can't even imagine that.Delete
I'd just like a cool breeze at this point.
I'm glad I can make you laugh.
Oh you are brave! I never lived anywhere near poisonous snakes. Come to think of it, I have only ever seen one snake in the wild. It was dead.ReplyDelete
Really? Well, just one more way that Florida is out to kill us all.Delete
brave woman you are, although recognizing that it wasn't poisonous was already so wise....... sorry it got an egg (or two). Hubby wrangled a 42 inch rattler in front of our chicken coop last week and I almost died watching this.......... first one (hopefully only one) we've found in yard this year....... we hope, only one. Unfortunately he did not lend himself to being caught......... we try to relocate even those when possible. Your grands, the cousins....are to die for. Love that they seem to have *found* each other.... makes me smile every timeReplyDelete
I think that my husband would just shoot a rattler. No wrangling involved. I would have passed out watching a rattler wrangling. Ugh. Horrors!Delete
They do fight back when they are being threatened.
Yep. August and Maggie suddenly understand that they have each other, I think. It's so beautiful.
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