Monday, April 06, 2009

Sunday Afternoon in the Shed

Yesterday afternoon there was quite the commotion out here in my Office (AKA “The Shed”). I was in the process of making one of my many daily trips to the bathroom inside of the main building. This is my main source of exercise so I try to drink as much beer as possible; more beer equals more trips.

On my first trip of the afternoon, as I opened the shed door, I was greeted by a young (18 to 22 inches long and skinny) Black (Racer) Snake. He was lying on the concrete threshold sunbathing.

The sound of the door opening must have startled him so he therefore decided to rapidly depart the area. He had a choice of four directions in which to travel; three leading into the back yard and one into the shed. Yep, you guessed it, he chose the shed.

I attempted to grab him but I moved too slowly. There is a reason that they named them Black Racers; they are fast as hell. His first move was to go behind my chest of drawers. When he saw me looking for him, he moved to underneath my adjacent television stand. At the same time I was feeling the urgency to relieve myself. I figured that when I returned, I would corner him and return him to the great outdoors.

On my way back to the shed I related the story to my daughter. She told me that it was imperative that I remove the snake from the shed. I said that I would do my best.

Armed with a three foot long stick, I began to poke around the area where the snake was last seen. Bingo, once again he was on the move. This time he traveled behind my Dorm size refrigerator into a corner. I had him where I wanted him to be, in a corner. As I approached he coiled; this was another good sign.

I moved slowly (let’s face it slowly is the only way I move) so not to frighten him. My hand was three inches from the snake when he once again bolted towards the television stand area. At this point in time I realized that he was much too fast for me to catch.

Option number two was to open the door and try to get him moving in that direction. He would see a shot at freedom and get out of the shed. I began to poke around again and once again he was on the move. But instead of heading out the door, he crossed the room to behind my computer desk. He again decided to go in a corner and coil. Unfortunately it was a corner that I couldn’t reach by hand. Again I used the stick in hopes that I could get him to move the 12 feet to the open door. As usual he went in the wrong direction, this time he was out of sight. I gave up, closed the door, grabbed a beer and sat down, somewhat exhausted. He would eventually have to surface.

My daughter comes to the shed and asks if I had removed the unwanted reptile. I told her that I didn’t know where he was. Now she has an idea. She would bring one of the dogs to the shed and the dog would find the snake, and chase it out of the shed. It sounded good to me because the dogs don’t like any other animals invading their turf. They can hear or smell a squirrel, cat or armadillo within 100 feet of their territory. No such luck.

My daughter then asks if I looked behind the bookcase and the couch. I said yes. Just to make sure, she took a look. No snake. She did however notice an accumulation of dust, dirt and a dead insect in that area. I was told to move the couch forward and to vacuum the area. I have always felt that there was no need to clean an area that nobody ever sees. The illusion of cleanliness is the important factor. She had a different opinion on the subject. I vacuumed. This whole episode was really cutting into my drinking time.

About 10 minutes later she came back to check on my progress. “Have you found the snake?” I said that maybe it had slithered out the door while I was cleaning. We began to search again and there it was nestled on my stack of computer CD’s on the bottom book shelf. I attempt to grab it again. It was too fast as usual and headed to the area behind the couch. This time we both had sticks and were position on either end of the couch. As hard as we tried we had no success.

My daughter then calls her husband to join the search team. He almost had it held down with the stick but it fled before he could capture it. This snake was out thinking and maneuvering three humans with agility and ease.

Finally my son-in-law got the ultimate snake capturing tool; a broom. My daughter and I got him into a corner, where he again coiled up. My son-in-law seized the opportunity and trapped him, caught him and removed him from the shed into a wooded area on the other side of the yard.

The Beach Bum



Anonymous Hardware Bob said...

Up here in New England we find black racers in the springtime,most come up from Kenya to the Boston Marathon. They are also hard to catch.

Thu Apr 09, 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger alfredo_tomato said...

I have a one eyed snake.

Thu Apr 09, 09:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Hardware Bob said...

The trouser snake is also very nifty. It very seldom coils,and spends most of it's time pointing at the ground. When agitated it spits.

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