Snake charms

Garter Snake, close up, taken in North Ontario...

It's NOT gardener snake. It's garter snake. Without arms or legs you cannot effectively raise crops.

Having been reared by a person rife with irrational fears, I’ve had to work hard all my adult life to reign in the crazy. Two things I’m still working on in the fear department: packs of feral dogs and small electrical appliances spontaneously combusting. (I’ve had an unfair share of freak accidents involving home appliances.) The former is a justifiable fear as I live one-half mile from a particularly mean part of Detroit that regularly expels feral dogs. The latter, well, that’s what therapy is for, right?

I do not have a fear of snakes, per se, but when I go West I take measures to avoid rattle snakes.  LIttle did I know some folks keep them as cuddly pets. (Stop goofing around and click on over to The Bloggess; you won’t get what I’m saying unless you do. Plus, she’s so funny.)  I showed this post to my husband and he gave me “the look.” Even though our marriage is so good it goes to eleven, I know my husband doesn’t always get a certain side of my humor.

The Bloggess’s post about snakes — or is it about signs? — reminded me of period in my life when posting crazy signs all over the place was a major part of my weekly routine. The best ever? Removing all the toilet paper rolls from the ladies room (two floors up from our office in a crumbling old high-rise), posting explanatory signs on the stall doors about paper rationing and how employees could earn squares on the merit system, and stashing the emergency supply on the 23rd-floor fire escape. (Wow. Who knew wind could unravel toilet paper so quickly?)

The Bloggess’s post about signs — or is it snakes? –begs me to share this:  On a bike ride through a thickly forested park last week, my friend and I happened upon two women walking their dogs. Suddenly, they began shrieking and waving their arms. We pedaled over to see if they needed help.

“Snake!” they shouted and pointed toward this bitty little striped garter snake slithering silently past my front tire and over a bed of fallen leaves.

“It’s harmless, only a garter snake,” I told them.

Then, (It was not my goal to be a bitch, but I knew it was bitchy the minute it came out.) I said to the snake: “Go on, little snake, before someone runs over you or steps on you.” Because I knew, just knew, that if we hadn’t come along, a foot or a log was coming down on that snake.


“Well, we’re not afraid of snakes,” one of them finally said.We just didn’t expect to see one out here.”

Of course not. The dense Michigan woods is no place for a small snake.  They belong in the Wal*Mart pet department next to the goldfish.

Now, if I were shivering in a paper gown at the hospital awaiting a colonoscopy and I saw one slinking along the carpeted floor, I might scream and wave my arms because there was nothing in the pre-procedural literature about snakes. Nothing.


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10 thoughts on “Snake charms

  1. Meleah: I had my come-uppance today, National Snake Day, as I nearly squished three snakes crossing my path. The first one even coaxed an embarrassing little “oh!” out of me.

  2. i don’t mind snakes, as long as they aren’t near me. i have a snake story, perhaps i’ll save it for my blog! as you know, i’ve been struggling for post ideas and you just gave me one!!

    i do have a fear of dead animals. there can be mice scurrying about my house, that wouldn’t bother me too much. but you show me a dead mouse, i’m on a chair screeching like a crazy woman.
    melissa recently posted..Words Not NumbersMy Profile

    • Oh, you would not be happy here. My cats have been taking care of the chipmunk overpopulation issue here. Fine, except, there are dead chipmunks everywhere. And the blood, oh god, the blood. I’ll never be able to look at a chipmunk the same way after this season.
      Middle State/MomZombie recently posted..Snake charmsMy Profile

  3. I almost couldn’t read the post after seeing the photograph, and now I need to bathe because I have chills up and down my spine from thinking about snakes. Love this post though.
    On another note, I have to reign in the crazy all the time. Maybe that’s why we connect so well. : )
    Mama Mary recently posted..every new mom needs a doodleerMy Profile

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