The other day Pookie brought a baby rattler up to the house, mer-owwing, all puffed up and proud of herself. The snake seemed more enraptured than traumatized by the experience.
Pookie, the Pentecostal Snake Handler. I took it away and let it slither home. Poisonous or not, things usually don't end well for Pookie's little playmates.
And a week or so back, a rat snake was after Peepers, our porch dove. Of course, Pookie would love to get at Peepers, but she must be content to taunt the bird through the screen.
Peepers is a bossy critter, thinks she's as big as Duck & me. The most dismissive thing she does is flip you off with her wing.
It doesn't hurt, but you've been told.
If Pookie Cat ever got inside the porch, Peepers would likely march right up and flap the cat with her wing. Terminally bad move.
I consider Peepers my dove muse. She's sitting on my shoulder as I write, crapping down my back. She watches the letters appear on the screen. Must look like endless seeds. Sometimes she flies down and pecks the mouse.
Anyhow, the rat snake was trying to get inside the screened porch after Peepers. It freaked her out. (We didn't know Peepers was a she until the egg-laying commenced.)
I practice a form of Southern Zen Baptist Buddhism. I don't kill anything I'm not gon' eat, though I haven't killed Duck yet. So, my intentions were to dissuade the snake, not dispatch it.
I sprayed the thing with bug spray, whacked it with a yard stick, nothing worked. It flicked its forked tongue, its reptilian brain set to dove dinner.
Did you know snakes climb straight up screen? As if my subconscious didn't have ample material for nightmares.
Just when I thought it was gone, It was poking around the screen door, like it knew how to get in! Could snakes be that smart?
I resisted the urge to go Medieval on its rat snake ass. They don't call me hoe-daddy for nothing. I did what any non-confrontationalist would do: I relocated Peepers to safety and hightailed it into downtown Sandtrap for backup.
I consulted Clyde in the backroom of Marge's Hardware. He's Afro-Saxon but speaks "roots." His recommendation was laying snake-repellant around the perimeter, "snake-be-gone" root along the sills and thresholds.
Clyde and Marge set me up with just the stinky ticket.
No way that skankness was going home in the cab. It rode in the pickup's bed.
I stopped by the U-Save and ran across Miss Ruby deliberating over pig knuckles. I shared my plight.
Miss Ruby insisted, "Mr. Bud, you need a pregnant woman to make water at the four corners."
She offered to come up with one, her niece.
Back at the home place, the snake was nowhere to be seen, but that didn't mean it wasn't sneaky snake hiding. No sooner than I liberally scattered the "snake-be-gone" root, I regretted it. It stank to high heaven, a combo of sulfur, bacon drippings and fish vomit.
I turned around and there was #%*!?, the local ho' mamma with a baby belly the size of Nebraska and a Michelin tire-tot on her hip.
I never understood #%*!?'s name, much less could spell it. Word on the rural Macadam is, she even accepts Monopoly money, but not being so-inclined, that's of no concern to me. I just called her "Ma'am."
And I didn't know Miss Ruby was her aunt, but everybody is related in these parts.
I went inside and averted my eyes, only later to emerge with a token love-offering.
Next day, unconcerned over the extraordinary measures to which I'd resorted, snake out of sight, out of mind, Peepers laid another egg. There's no boy-dove on the porch. She's wasting her time.
THAT'S NOT ALL: The day after that in the middle of the garden path, right next to the garden gnome, two big king snakes were fornicating. It looked like that two-snake medical caduceus thing without the stick keeping them separated. The little gnome fella' blushed.
So next time you see the caduceus, recognize it for what it is: Two snakes fornicating.
I always heard king snakes eat poisonous snakes. Where you see one, you'll not see the other. Pookie Cat's little rattler was probably nabbed by one of the horny king snakes before it made it back to its pit viper den.
And bad me. I deprived the rat snake of a meal and Pookie of the shear ecstasy of killing one of God's creation.
Up next in the Heart of Jawja:
In “Boor Wars,” Roy Rogers (Cindy) and Dale Evans (Diana) take on the big city boors. (Go!)
© Phil Comer
Disclaimer: Although loosely based on reality, characters and events are none you or I know. If you think this doesn't totally suck, please Comment, Follow and click Like. Thanks!
Text is copyright material of the author. Photo by Phil Comer, model Peepers. Unless stated otherwise, links are for information and not the property of the author.