Two years ago today, we discovered an intruder in our house. A stinky, slick intruder under the baby’s bed. Of all the things I have blogged about in the last 4 years, this is one of the most read posts. Evidently, hundreds of people entire ‘black rat snake’ in a search engine every week and, thus, get directed to this blog entry. Many of you are new readers and so I thought I’d share the intruder story just so that I can be certain that you have had the public service announcement that you should close your doors. And just so you know, BF’s commitment to close our door lasted all of three days.
If you had asked me last week if I was scared of snakes, I would have told you that I wasn’t the kind of person to go running from a snake (well, unless my life was in danger). And there is evidence of this— I have been around snakes in the past without absolutely freaking out. But then this weekend happened, and, as it turns out, I am the type of person to go running from a snake, even if my life is not in danger.
Here’s the story: We have four enormous oak trees in our yard, and BF is obsessed with picking up all the crap they drop every weekend year round (which, by the way, is totally fine by me as I have zero interest in picking up anything they drop and they drop a crap load of stuff).
As he does this, he comes in and out of the house– getting water, changing his sweat-drenched shirt, etc. You might recall that BF and I set resolutions for each other at the beginning of this year. The resolution that I set for him? Shutting the door.
So on Sunday afternoon, BF was hard at work on his yard project, and baby was hanging with him in his bouncy seat on the front porch. I thought I would use the time to do a little laundry in baby’s room. Just as I rounded the corner into baby’s room, I happened to look down rather than keep my gaze at eye level. And what do you know? There is a snake crawling underneath baby’s crib. A long, black snake.
So, what did our heroine do? Well, she ran out of the house like Phoebe in Friends. Screaming at the top of her friggin’ lungs. I kid you not. I know some of you don’t KNOW me, but, seriously, running out of the house like Phoebe screaming at the top of my lungs is so not me. I am more of the I Can Rescue Me type. Or so I thought.
Anyway, in the yard, I found BF who asked why I was yelling.
“There’s a snake under baby’s bed,” I screamed. And he looked at me like I was hallucinating.
“Can you get it?” Then he looked at me like I was crazy. Because BF– though he does not look like it– is the kind of person who would run away from a snake screaming, and he’s the first to tell you that.
“No, I can’t get it.” So I cajoled BF over to the neighbors’ house. Mike, Carly’s husband, was in the yard, and I heard BF say, “How are you about snakes?” And Mike said, “Not good at all, but Carly doesn’t mind them.”
Sure enough, Carly, who is equally gifted with cupcakes or raptors, came right on over to our house (in running clothes and shoeless!!!), marched into baby’s bedroom all by herself and when she didn’t see the snake, looked under the crib to find where it had coiled itself into its smallest shape in the corner, reluctantly took the running shoes I made her put on to protect her toes, moved the crib by herself because I was standing on baby’s bathtub (with a camera) and BF couldn’t even be in the house, picked up the snake, identified what it was, and then moved it across the street after holding it up on display and telling us all about it in the yard (‘he wouldn’t have hurt the baby, Rosie, I promise. He just wants to eat mice’). That, my friends, is a steel magnolia. And I am absolutely confident that she will be baby’s favorite person while he’s growing up. As Carly nonchalantly went back to her own yard chores, I hollered out to her, “You cannot ever move away from us, Carly.” She laughed like I was a funny girl, but I am even thinking about asking her to spend the night. It’s going to be a long time before I can go barefoot again in this house, and I cannot even think about what would have happened had I not walked into baby’s room just at that moment to see the snake making its home under his crib. Yikes!
On another note, snakes occupy not one iota of my thinking and, yet, coincidentally, this morning, I wrote an article on summer safety tips and one line that is sticking out in my head now from it is “don’t reach blindly into spaces where snakes like to hide” as they often retreat in the summer to places where they can cool down. It’s 90 degrees this weekend in NC, and Carly’s sure that Mr. Black Rat Snake wasn’t expecting it to go from 60 to 90 in a day and moved inside, with the help of our open door policy, to regulate his temperature. Close your doors, people. Put your shoes on. And don’t reach blindly into spaces where snakes like to hide which, I will have you know, is everywhere.
PS: BF has now fully committed to closing the door.