Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Hello, Marlon? Marlon Perkins?

Evan, jumping wildly up and down, was unable to control his excitement. "There's a snake in the driveway!" he kept repeating. I didn't really believe him, or thought maybe it was a garter snake (bad enough). But, yep. A snake. And, nope. Not a garter snake. It was coiled up, head flattened, striking out at my kids who didn't have the common sense to keep away. Rattlesnake.

Granted, it was only about eight or ten inches long. But! Wait! My husband says baby snakes are actually more dangerous than the grown-up kind. My first thought was to scoop it up with a shovel and dump it, I don't know, somewhere. But then I thought, "What if it can jump and bites me and I keel over and the kids are left alone?" I really thought this. Do snakes jump? Probably not, but you can't be too careful. Then I thought about getting our massive tractor lawnmower and running over the evil creature about 18 times, but decided that would take too long and that it would devour one of the kids before I could get the job done.

So we just went into the house. The kids are now forbidden to play outside barefoot.

Remember, I'm an Iowa girl. To me, "wildlife" means cows and rabbits. (Which can be very dangerous, by the way. If they are packing firearms.) I am not used to all these human-eating animals.

We have coyotes. They go crazy howling in the middle of the night. I had no idea what they were, but my Great Outdoorsman husband taught me. "Don't worry," he said. "They're at least a mile away." I think this was supposed to be comforting.

Turtles. Of all kinds, and sometimes they come into our garage. The troubling ones are the snapping turtles, which could easily break one of the kids in half. A few months ago, during Turtle Migration Season (I actually don't know if this exists, but there were a lot of turtles on the move) we saw a fine specimen about half a mile up the road. Easily two and a half feet across. I thought it was a small dinosaur.

Birds of prey. Constantly soaring over our house, looking very grand. The kids have been instructed not to lay motionless in the yard.

Oh, and the oversexed owl, who attempts to seduce us all night long. With a deep, intimate, whisper-in-your-ear voice. Not unlike Isaac Hayes. Except he's an owl.

Lizards. They don't look like gila monsters or komodo dragons, so I think we're okay here. But they still live in my yard.

To my knowledge, none of these creatures has thumbs, so they probably lack the ability to open doors and get into the house and swipe one of the children. Just in case, though, we have a security system. Which I'm pretty sure is intended to warn us of human invaders, but the animals seem like a more immediate threat.

But even the security system won't work against the snakes, who (no doubt) have located a drainpipe by which they can crawl into one of our toilets and wait in ambush to bite someone's hind end. I'm just not sure what to do about the snakes.


  1. And this is why I cannot move south even one more mile - I HATE crap like this!!!! Urban living just gives us mice, cats in heat owned by no one, and four corgis next door. I guess they don't count as wild animals though.

  2. Your boys must be magnets for dangerous animals! After 30 years I have NEVER seen a rattlesnake, and snapping turtles are rare! I'd be scared too!


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