Opie and I are having a little contest this morning that I like to call: “Who’s having a worse morning?”
It started like any other day. We got up, he started to get ready for work and I fed the dogs and took them outside. With the fabulous new fence (more on that later), I could just let them out on their own but there are places that a really industrious 7 pound dog could wriggle under so I always go with them.
So, the two of them shot through the dog door and as I headed for the human door, I stepped on something soft and squishy. Soft, squishy and hard to see because I hadn’t turned on the porch light and the sun wasn’t all the way up.
And, no, it wasn’t dog doo…it was worse.
“Oh, gross,” I thought, leaning down and peering at the mat. “One of those rotten dogs dragged a huge earthworm in here last night.”
Except when I got my face right there next to it, I realized it was way too big to be an earthworm, even a really big nightcrawler type of earthworm. And it was coiled up.
Coiled up like a snake.
At which point I was torn…run inside and get Opie or run outside, screaming for Opie, while keeping the dogs off the porch. I actually even did this weird cartoon-ish hopping back and forth, saying “Snake!” over and over again, while my body and mind struggled with the decision.
In the end, I elected to go inside and get Opie…largely because he was in the shower and probably wouldn’t hear me screaming from outside.
He did, however, hear me shouting from the living room and came running downstairs as soon as he had thrown on some underwear.
“It’s a snake,” he agreed. “It’s just a little one.”
“It’s probably a baby,” I agreed. “A baby snake and the mama is probably lurking right outside the dog door, waiting to pounce when we least expect it! We might need to move.”
He shook his head and started wrapping it up in the welcome mat.
“Where are you going with that?” I demanded as he headed for the door. “Don’t even think about throwing that snake in the backyard where I’ll have to think about it hiding in the garden all day.”
But I also didn’t want him to kill it because I don’t like killing things…even evil vermin, until it's had a chance to contemplate its behavior and change its porch-lurking ways. “You have to take it somewhere else,” I said.
“I’m in my underwear,” he pointed out.
I didn’t exactly say “underwear shmunderwear!” but I thought it and I stared at him in horror until he sighed, carried the mat-wrapped snake off the porch, snuck out the gate between our house and the neighbors, tiptoed to the front and flung the snake far, far away.
Ever have that moment when you realize that you might not HAVE annoying neighbors, but you ARE the annoying neighbors?
In any case, the snake is gone (for now!) and I am planning to follow my friend Kelly’s advice and stomp whenever I’m in the yard today to scare other snakes away.
But we are still left with a debate…Opie maintains that being ripped from the shower and forced to wander around outside in his underwear makes his morning worse. But I STEPPED ON A SNAKE. A small snake, yes. But a SNAKE.
I totally win, right?