For those of you who know Isaiah, the title of this post is either terrifying, hilarious, or both. For me, it is only terrifying. I don't know why this blog has suddenly turned into the Nature channel except that living in a barn lends itself to frequent wildlife encounters. And so, this morning, those dreaded words came ringing through the rafters -again! "MOM! There's a snake in the barn!" Nathan quickly adds, "not a scrawny snake like the other day but a great big, black snake." Ooh-kay. The adjective black is of some comfort; dropping my heart rate from 210 to about 195, but BIG? Coming from 7 and 5 year old boys this could mean anything.
I put on tennis shoes not flip-flops. Then reach for my trusty snake handling tools and secretly wish our machete was three feet longer. During this time, more of the story unfolds...
Amie: Are you sure it was black?
Boys: Yes, maybe with white spots.
Amie: White SPOTS? huh?
Nathan: White spots or sort of rings but mostly black.
Isaiah: Yeah, he w-w-was black. I touched him.
SCREEEEEEECH! There are now permanent skid marks somewhere in my brain matter.
Amie: You WHAT!?
It's one of those moments when you find yourself saying something so unnatural for a mom... "You BETTER be lying to me, boy!" He wasn't lying. dang it. Isaiah not only touched the snake but picked it up. My stomach lurches just to think of it. We went over the scenario again and again. I threw a belt on the floor and said show me how and where you picked it up. He picked it up right in the center of the "body". I asked, "what did it do when you picked it up?" His response: "it w-w-wobbled around and then I d-d-dropped it."
The consequence for lying in our family is serious but reasonable. The consequence for mindlessly picking up snakes...potentially exponentially worse! What was the boy thinking? He wasn't.
So what of the snake? Your guess is as good as mine. By the time we made it down to the barn he was long gone or at least well concealed. My search of the area was more of a visual scan. I did not dig through the wood pile or under the hay bails. I ain't no stupid. If it was just a black snake, I can deal with that. Though I think I nice barn cat would be sufficient and less intense for rodent control. Perhaps even a nice mongoose...where is Rikki Tikki Tavi when you need him?
And can I just add...where are all these creatures when Tim is home, for cying out loud!?