Wednesday, June 8, 2011

That Hose is Moving

Monday evening I opened the garage door and went out with the dogs.  I saw a black garden hose on a shelf near my husband's car.  I wondered when he had put it there because I hadn't noticed it before.

The dogs attended to business and we came back into the garage.  Just as I tapped the "close" button I noticed the hose move ever so slightly!  I quickly opened the garage door again and went inside the house.  I called to my husband, "There's a snake in the garage.  Come and watch it while I take the dogs to bed and then we'll get it out."  [Important note:  My husband is quite afraid of snakes.  That's nothing to be ashamed of.  He is otherwise fearless, hiking the most rugged trails, clearing brush from the creek, etc.  Snakes are about the only thing he fears.  We all have at least one thing that makes us freak out and for him it is a snake.]

The snake had not moved from the shelf when I came back out.  My husband was standing near the door and said it was a black snake and a really long one at that.  The snake was twisted around itself, not coiled, and seemed not to notice our presence.  (DUH!!! That should have given you a little hint, Carolyn.)  Dealing with non-poisonous snakes does not bother me at all if I see them and know where they are.  But a snake in the garage can find all sorts of places to hide even in a garage as neat as ours.  And I surely didn't want to be surprised in the future.  Besides, snakes are really happier in the woods.

We developed our strategy.  My husband suggested that we should take a broom and sweep the snake off the shelf into a large bucket he uses for clearing the yard.  I explained that the snake would immediately climb out of that and we needed something with a lid.  The very accomodating snake didn't seem to mind our discussions at all and remained where he was.  (How many clues do you need, mountain woman?)

I looked over at the largest recycle bin which contains wine bottles and other glass.  It was large and deep and had a cover.  So my husband emptied it and brought it around his car.  I put the bin on the floor directly under the shelf and handed the lid to my husband.  I explained that I was going to take the broom and "sweep" the snake off the shelf and into the bin and he would pop the lid on immediately.  At least three times I impressed how crucial it was to be fast with the lid.  I moved over to the side so my husband could be right at the bin and ready with the lid.  I counted to three and swept the snake off the shelf.

IT TURNED INTO TWO SNAKES AS IT TUMBLED OFF THE SHELF!!!  My otherwise fearless husband was so startled that he took a little dance step backwards, totally forgetting his role in putting the lid on immediately.  Great!  Now we had two snakes loose in the garage.  One of them slithered back to the shelving and the other one moved toward the garage door.  I told my husband to watch the snake on the shelf while I tried to find the other one.  I walked around his car and found a long pole that looked like a better tool than my broom.  I found the snake behind the other recycle bin and I poked and shoved him until he was cornered behind the large trash barrel.  I moved the trash barrel and prodded the snake out the garage door and onto the driveway.  During this time my husband was shouting, "Throw the thing over the wall!  Throw it over the wall!!  This snake on the shelf is moving."  I told him I almost had this one and he should keep an eye on the one on the shelf.  I worked with the pole and tossed the snake over the wall as planned.  One snake snake to go.

I went back into the garage where my husband was standing and I did not see the other snake.  My husband said he THOUGHT it might have gone behind and under the shelf.  I told him to stand at the rear of his car so he could see where the snake emerged when I started poking under the shelf.  Suddenly my husband shouted, "It's out!  It's out!"  I started to run to the back of my husband's car and RAN SMACK INTO HIM!!!  Once again, my partner had left his post and we had no idea where the snake was.  Thank goodness we knew it was a black snake.  So there I was, poking and prodding among the mops and brooms and wishing I had more sturdy shoes than the sandals I was wearing.  My husband had moved to the front of my car...the front of the front of my car asking such useful questions as, "Can you see it?  Can you find it?  We've got to find it!"

Finally I saw the snake's tail.  Poking and prodding, I managed to get the snake out of the garage and onto the driveway and then over the wall.  I don't know why it didn't occur to me from the beginning that the twisted nature of the snake could only mean one thing...there were two snakes locked in an embrace.  But it didn't occur to me and I was totally shocked to see two snakes.

Photograph from Savannah River Ecology Laboratory

All's well that ends well is absolutely true.  After such an adventure we are prone to think of how many things could have gone wrong.  We're thankful that I noticed the snakes in the first place.  It's one thing to see a snake from a distance...quite another to be suddenly surprised.  We are thankful the dogs did not participate in our antics, although next morning they were intensely interested in the smells on the turn-around of the driveway.  We are thankful the snakes were not poisonous or aggressive and we hope they do find a good nesting place near our house...just not inside the garage.  We are thankful neither of us had more than a glass of wine at dinner.

Most of all, we are thankful that we can still get into these Desi/Lucy situations and laugh about them.  And come out of them still best friends.  My husband once gave me a card which read, "Having the right partner makes all the difference."  So true.


The Bug said...

LOL - it would be the opposite in our house. I don't know that I would be AFRAID exactly, but I'm pretty sure I'd be useless.

Anonymous said...

Cute story, Lucy! :)

I had to go back to your pretty yesterday pictures to get the image out of my head. I'm awed at your bravery.

Taradharma said...

great story, wonderfully and hysterically told! Even though you were thankful you only had one glass of wine with dinner, after this episode did you go and pour another? I would have!

Jill said...

Great post! Got a great laugh! Sounds like something that would happen around here. Although...I am thankful it has not. Ha.

Jayne said...

Oh Carolyn... I was trying hard not to snort, but I can just imagine the scene! Glad you were able to get them out of there and to better living arrangements.

NanaNor's said...

Hi there, I had to smile at your post because it was similar to one I did a couple of weeks ago. Both our grown daughters had a snake bull snake at their place-two days in a row. Thankfully they were part of the gopher snake family but the bull snake looked so much like a rattler-which we have here as well as our old home in Ca. I,like you, am not frightened of them and would like to let them live and eat all the mice around.
Good job taking care of your visitors.

Berts Blog said...

Great Post. I am glad I came to visit. I'm Bert, a friend of Bambi's. I know the snake thing. We have to take a class on snake aversion to be a search dog but I must not have listened too well cause My Vickie says I still don't respect them like I should.
I am glad it was a black snake cause our rattlers out here in the west are pretty moody.

Stay safe and it was nice to meet you.

chris youngblood said...

Hahahahahaha! That was rich, well told. So glad it came out well, your marriage too.

Sharon said...

Oh my gosh! That was the funniest post and it was definitely a Ricky and Lucy situation. Glad you got the snakes out - you may have had a little family in your garage soon.

carolina nana said...

Such a funny story Carolyn, this year is starting out to be a really bad year for snakes. I had 2 encounters just last week with black snakes around our house. One was near the chickens so it was killed, the other was below the house but it surprised me so with it's large size that I would have killed it also if I could have found something to hit it with. I'm like you if they don't surprise me its always better.
Have a blessed snakefree day !!!
And by the way if you didn't read my blog they postponed son's surgery until Friday.
Thanks for your prayers

Karin said...

Wow, that was one adventure! Well written - made my pulse beat faster! So glad the snakes are out in the bush where they can cuddle all they want to!

Cicero Sings said...

Well that was a fun story! Quite the episode.

Ruth said...

A very good story to read, but I am so glad I was not there. My solution would have been to run in terror and call for help. I am impressed at your courage.

Ms. A said...

I was able to see the entire scenario, in my mind and I'm glad it had a happy ending.


OH, how funny!! Well, not really, but I truly enjoyed the story....I would have absolutely freaked out and would have been no where near anything that even resembled a snake!!


Wayfarin' Stranger said...

Sorry to sound like a heretic, but wish I had those black snakes in my garage. They are great at keeping the mice out. Living in the middle of the woods like we do, we're overrun with White Footed Mice. They're cute until they build nests in the heating ducts in the car. Still, it was a cute story, well written. Jim

kks said...

I was on the edge of my seat! Good job on the snake wrangling! Yikes!

KB said...

I was drinking my coffee when I started reading your post. I burst into laughing at your description, barely avoiding baptizing my keyboard in coffee. Thanks for a hilarious story.

I'm glad that you're both OK! Yes, having the right partner makes all the difference - making scenes like that one funny rather than sources of huge fights!

gaias daughter said...

This reminds me of something that happened when our daughter was just a toddler. We were renting a furnished trailer and I was giving the place a thorough vacuuming. We had one of those old-fashioned pull-out sofa beds -- lift the seat and fold it out. I lifted the seat and found a snake coiled up inside! I slammed the seat shut, grabbed my daughter and took her outside to wait for my husband's return. When my husband arrived, I explained the situation. He looked around for a weapon and settled on the broom. Cautiously, he lifted the sofa seat. There was the snake, exactly where I had seen it before. He took the broom handle and smashed it down on the snake's head. The broom bounced! It was a rubber snake!! I had been outside all day with my toddler, scared of a rubber snake!

Anonymous said...

What a great story, Carolyn! Sounds like the kind of thing we would try to do here, with similar mishaps and outcome. Good stewards you two are.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

I agree that you've told this story so well!! But I am really terrified of snakes and am going to now close my garage door that I've had open for the last couple of days!

animal lover, quilt lover said...

You had an adventurer!! The snakes were probably mating!! I am not afraid of snakes having lived among them most of my life. My first home was in the woods and among lots of snakes and at the beginning I was afraid too but over the years the fear left me. The last 38 years I have lived in this house that is in the deep woods so we see them often.
Thank you for your visit to my blog and your kind words! I am so lost without her. I will be for a long while too!! She and I were together 24/7 for 13 years and 3 months exactly!!
She was ready to go though I am sure of that. She died in our bedroom with me sitting right next to her. Right were she wanted to be!!
thank you, Fern

Toni aka irishlas said...

I'm the scaredy cat in our home when it comes to things that slither!

What a great story and I'm glad everything ended well, including a good outcome for the snakes!

troutbirder said...

Wonderful story. Snakes no problem... well rattler make me a little nervous. Now bats is where I take the back seat. :)

Vicki Lane said...

I wish there were a video...

Cheryl said...

Oh my goodness what a story.
It made me laugh......I could just see the whole scene.

My daughter is terrified of snakes. You would not have got her in the garage,let alone hold the bucket. Ha!

You are a hero and your husband did well.....fear is a very personal thing. You can never truly explain it to another person.

Rudee said...

I'm a day late, but after the work day I had yesterday, I needed a great belly laugh. Thank you for this most wonderful tale of bravery. I'd have been squealing like a girl (good think I am a girl) and directing traffic from atop the car.

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone.

Merrilymarylee - It's not really bravery once you know the snake is not poisonous.

Tara - Yes, we did pour another!

Bert - Thanks for dropping by. I love your blog.

Chris - Thanks for dropping by. In our 39 years of marriage we have tons of crazy stories like this. We laugh a lot around here.

Sharon - could have been written for a sitcom.

Carolina nana - I do hope your son's surgery went all right.

Ms A - It was quite a scene.

Wayfarin stranger - I'm very happy to have the black snakes around the house. But not in my garage. I don't like surprises, like one of them crawling out when I start to get in the car.

Gaias - Now that is a really funny story!

Vickie - If there had been a video of that fiasco, I'm sure I could have sent it to "Funniest Videos."

Busy Bee Suz said...

I am sure the snakes are still miffed that you broke up there little reunion. :)
We get them in our garage sometimes too...scares me for a minute. I also have black hoses and sometimes the hose scares me and IT is just a hose. :)
You and your husband are funny....keep on entertaining us. please.

Pat said...

I have this mental image of you and Desi, especially Desi, in the garage with the amorous black snakes. LOL.

100 Thoughts of Love said...

ewwww....I would just have to move!!!