There Are Snakes in My House (and Possibly Bears)

I recently found a snake on the floor of my living room.

It was small, but it was alive. And it was a snake. Oh, no. No no no. I do not do snakes. That is a big old nope. It is all well and good to live a life of courage and bravery, but this is a snake we’re talking about.

I’m not sure what it is about snakes that is so repellent but they give me the heebie-jeebies. I understand all the rational reasons why they’re good – mouse consumption being high on that list – but rationality doesn’t play into my response.

The tiny reptile was curled up next to my running shoes, a fact I discovered when I reached down to put them on. Upon being disturbed by my removal of the shoes, it wiggled at me – either in greeting or menace. It’s really hard to determine the intent of itty bitty serpents.

Naturally, I reacted in the only way appropriate – by photographing the snake and frantically posting the picture on my Facebook page.

My friends responded in droves; some helpfully, some less so. I appreciated the words of solidarity and the memes of burning houses (the only reasonable solution to the crisis, clearly). Less so the musings about whether it might be a baby copperhead. And as for the so-called ‘friend’ who texted me later that night to say that they hoped I had ‘found all the snakes’ in my house? You know who you are and you are on my list.

I am a strong, independent woman and yet I am prepared to admit that, when facing a snake in my house, I wished fervently for a male presence who could deal with the situation. Since none was available, it fell to me. I resorted to the age-old trick of trapping the critter under a Tupperware box and then sliding a piece of cardstock underneath to facilitate transport out the door.

My little visitor did not enjoy this activity. He flailed about, striking at the walls of the box while I heroically resisted the powerful urge to fling said box into the air while screaming at the top of my lungs. I released the snake into my front flowerbed with stern exhortations never to return, and went on with my evening.

I have no idea where the snake came from. Being the mother of a seven-year-old boy, I could find an easy scapegoat, but I’m quite sure he would have joyfully introduced me to his new friend had he brought it into the house. So its origins remain an unsettling mystery. Because the snake made its appearance near my couch, I am now afraid to look underneath. What if there’s an entire swarm of snakes under there? I can’t face the thought. Ignorance is bliss. Also, I’m pretty sure the dust bunnies under my couch are huge. And feral.

Unfortunately, the snake may just be the beginning of our troubles. A few weeks ago, my son requested permission to shoot his marshmallow gun in the house. I refused categorically, explaining that marshmallows in the bedroom attract bugs.

Without missing a beat, my older daughter carried the warning further, positing with utter seriousness that bugs attract mice, mice attract snakes, and snakes attract bears.

Although I have thankfully seen no evidence of mice, it seems that we should probably be on the lookout for bears any day now. I’ll be ready.

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