As an avid gardener, I’ve become accustomed to seeing the occasional wildlife in my garden. I’d come face to face with little rabbits who just want to munch on my radishes, or raccoons who like to make homes among my hydrangeas. I always like to do the best that I can when it comes to protecting my gardens. I had wire fencing installed around my vegetable garden to keep animals from using it as a salad bar, and I planted marigolds around the perimeters of my planting boxes because I’d heard that animals didn’t like the smell of them. And when the situation called for it, I would occasionally call for back up from a wildlife control worker, trapper, or pest control specialist. On one particular day, I was elbow deep in my dahlia’s, pruning and such, when I heard a faint hissing sound. I let out an exasperated sigh if I had broken another hose that meant that my flowers had been getting overwatered. I shoved my arm into the back of my dahlias and began to feel around for the broken hose. My hand brushed against something vaguely rubbery and cylindrical. I grasped onto it and gave it a yank, YOUCH!! I immediately recoiled and fell back onto my bum and ripped off my gloves. On the back of my hand were two bleeding pinpricks. I ripped off my other glove and pulled back the foliage and shoved my face right in, determined to find what had stabbed the back of my hand. Almost instantly, I took off running in the opposite direction. I had just shoved my face into a nest of sleeping (and now agitated) garden snakes. I ran all the way into my house where I grabbed my phone and immediately called the first wildlife company I could think of and demanded they drive down to my house immediately. Sure, I can handle the occasional cuddly little bunny rabbit. But a nest full of garden snakes? You’re out of your mind!
Every little girl grew up hearing the story of the princess and the frog. Or at least some version of it. The princess goes to the well and sees a frog sitting there. The frog begs the princess for a kiss to help restore him to the prince he once was. The princess of course is vary weary. Frogs are disgusting! They’re riddled with diseases and all sorts of bacteria! What smart princess would kiss a frog! The princess is divided and knows that she shouldn’t kiss the frog, they’re ugly, slimy and they EAT FLIES! But, against her better judgement she kisses the frog. And just like he promised, he transformed into a handsome prince.
We all wish that real life was like this. You find your prince charming waiting by the well for you, begging you to kiss him into a prince. Well, let me tell you, if you kiss a frog you will not get a prince. You’ll end up like me. Getting Salmonella. Most people don’t know this, but frogs are more likely to give you salmonella than eating raw cookie dough! (I’m convinced that the whole “eating raw cookie dough will give you salmonella” thing is a myth) Like every other young girl I wanted to kiss a frog and watch it transform into my prince charming. But that is not what happened! I saw the frog sitting on a bridge near my favorite river. I had just finished reading the Princess and the frog, so I was convinced I knew what I was doing.
I sat next to the frog and began to talk to it. I knew that my prince would soon begin to talk back. But after a couple of awkward minutes where I sat talking to myself a thought occurred to me. Of course my prince couldn’t talk! He’s trapped as a frog, and frogs don’t talk! The frog only talked in the story book because it was a story! After realizing my silly mistake I picked up the frog and gave it a big, WET, JUICY kiss. It wasn’t long before I realized my frog wasn’t going to turn into a prince. I ran home in a mess of tears. I cried to my mom about how the frog I had kissed hadn’t turned into a prince. Well, she wasn’t so much concerned with how my dreams were crushed. She was too concerned with the “diseases and germs” that my prince charming was carrying. She rushed me off to the ER to be inspected.
Well needless to say, I spent the next few weeks with a fever, awful stomach aches, and not to mention I was spewing gunk out of every orifice of my body (both ends if you know what I mean…) I knew that this could not be the fairytale ending that the storybook had told about! But after my experience, I wasn’t too keen to try it again.
There’s nothing in this world that I hate more than snakes. I don’t care if they are outside, inside, in a cage at the zoo, or on someone’s arm. I DETEST THEM! They are disgusting and scary and potentially harmful! Now as a young homeowner, having a snake infestation is the very thing my nightmares are made of. Imagine if you hated snakes as much as I do. Now imagine how you would feel if one day you went out to enjoy your backyard to find a nest of snakes. Well this my friends is where my story starts.
I had just walked outside with my ice cold glass of lemonade, I was planning on spending a few hours in my backyard trying to unwind after a long day in the office. I had just settled into my lawn chair when I saw it. The snake. About two feet long and as thick as a glue stick. It was slithering through the grass just a few feet in front of me! I sat paralyzed for quite some time. I couldn’t believe my eyes! There it was. My worst fear come to life. I came to my senses and abruptly stood up, dropping my glass of lemonade as I stood. My glass shattered on to the ground, ice cubes and broken glass littered the ground. I didn’t care, I booked it inside as fast as my legs could take me.
After I had come to my senses and recovered from the initial trauma, I ventured out of my hiding place in the bathtub. I carefully crept up to the back door to see if my new little reptilian friend was still there. There he was, in exactly the same spot he was in before. I was just about to turn away when I saw it out of the corner of my eye. Another one. TWO SNAKES IN ONE DAY!!! My jaw dropped. This was too much for me to handle. I immediately ran to my computer and googled emergency snake control. I called the first number on the screen. He told me that he would be over within the hour.
As I anxiously awaited my superman’s arrival I began to panic and dream up these ridiculous situations. I literally sprinted to the door when he showed up. I all but dragged him to the backyard by his hair. He did a quick round of the backyard, checking out all of the good hiding places for snakes. Of course I was safe inside the house behind the door. When he had finished his inspection we went into the living room to POW- WOW. I don’t remember much after he dropped the bomb that I had a snake nest under the willow tree in my backyard. I just remember thinking of burning my house to the ground. Luckily my hero in leather boots had a plan. To be continued……