Owen and I came home from Walmart on Monday with a ton of groceries. Owen went inside and found a spot on the couch to read books while I unloaded the groceries. we chatted a bit while I put things in the fridge and then Owen said "oh mommy, a snake". knowing he had been looking at some books about wildlife in Florida I said, "oh yes, Florida has lots of snakes Owen". he then said again, "mommy, snake!". I repeated what I said before and kept putting the groceries away. Owen, getting a little more lively now, said louder "mommy! BIG snake!" then came in the kitchen and said "come look mommy". so I put down my stuff and went to the couch to look at the book with him. he pointed over my shoulder and said "BIG snake!" and it finally clicked in my head that he was NOT talking about a picture in his book, but a real snake. it was hanging above our door leading to the backyard.
naturally, I freaked. and then I grabbed my phone to video.
I will warn you, this story and video are yucky.
like, really yucky.
I called Chris over and over again but he didn't answer. for some reason it wouldn't go through, but luckily he got off work early and was already on his way home because he had been on call all weekend. by the time he got home, the snake had been all over the porch, over the door and windows, under and up the grill, all over Owen's swimsuit that was laying out to dry, on top of the smoker. everywhere! it looked like it was trying to find a new home.
I hate snakes. and by the video you learn that Owen hates snakes (haha, best part of the video is his "I hate snakes" on repeat). but what you may not know is that Chris is truly afraid of snakes. like, Indiana Jones kind of fear of snakes. he called the local nature center and asked if they wanted a snake. after describing it and determining it was probably a rat snake, they said no and ended the call with a "please, do not kill it". Chris said ok, hung up, followed by "yeah right! if it's on my property around my kids, its gotta go." he took one for the team and went out back to get the snake. he has a pile of wood on the porch that he uses for his smoker and the snake worked his way in the pile to hide when Chris went out there.
with a shovel he moved away logs of wood one at a time, stopping every couple logs to bend over and take a deep breath because his heart was racing. he finally saw the snake coiled up with his head out, ready to strike. with a deep breath, Chris took a strike with the shovel. the snake moved its head just in time, but Chris accidentally cut part of the back end of the snake that had been coiled up next to the head. acting fast to put it out of misery, Chris grabbed the snake with a rake and finished the job with the shovel once he got the snake into the grass. it was hard to tell, but we think it was somewhere between 4-5 feet long.
because the snake had been cut, the wood pile had blood on it so Chris decided to clean it out and get rid of the wood. as he cleared out the cut wood, he found ANOTHER ONE!!! almost as big, this snake too had made a home in the wood pile.
our hero, yes he deserves that title after his morning, grabbed the rake, scooped it out, and cut its head off with the shovel too.
we saved the heads to show the kids after school. Ellie and Charlie were super excited. jack, it turns out, is even more terrified of snakes than anyone else in the family. Owen is the only one brave enough to go in the backyard now.