|My son's cat desperately wants to get ahold of that snake. I would let her.|
I am PETRIFIED of snakes. Petrified. I cannot express that enough, though the following stories may illustrate my point. I have goosebumps just thinking about them.
1. This may be when it all started. My cat Wolfie had been missing for a few days during severe thunderstorms. When the rain finally let up, I put on my dad's work boots and wandered out into the woods beyond our acreage, searching for Wolfie. The mud was deep and the trek was tough, especially because his boots were way too big. I stopped in the woods and called out, "Wolfie!" I stood still, listening for meows, when all of a sudden I looked down and a snake was slithering across the top of my feet. I screamed and began running through the deep, sucking mud. Everything went black. I passed out for a minute, then came to, terrified that the snake was chasing me. I started running in the too-big boots again, intermittently blacking out and coming to as I made my way back to the house. I feel a little light-headed just thinking about it. Sidenote: Someone else found Wolfie's remains. :(
2. Another cat story. My cat Midnight loved to bring us gifts. We were presented with dead rabbits, moles, mice and birds at least once a week. She often laid them on the doorstep; a macabre greeting that always startled us. But one time she brought back a live present. She meowed at the doorstep, so I opened the door. She ran in with a snake that she dropped at my feet. I remember screaming. I remember leaping across the room to the stairs. (Snakes can't climb stairs, can they?) What I don't remember is who caught the snake and took it back outside.
3. I tried so hard not to let my fear of snakes influence my children. I tried to keep my fear of snakes to myself. That plan backfired. One day when my son was about 3-years-old, I took him and his friend Richie to a school playground to play. I sat at the picnic table, reading a book when all of a sudden I heard excited screams from the boys as they ran across the playground toward me. "Mom! Mom! Look!" I looked, but couldn't make out what they were carrying. It looked like they had bouquets of flowers in their hands as they ran toward me. Mac often picked me flowers, but these seemed odd; I didn't see any colorful blooms. Then they got about ten feet away from me and I saw what the 'bouquets' really were: baby snakes. Dozens of them in each hand. I jumped up onto the table and hysterically smiled at the boys. "Take them back where you found them. Their mother is probably looking for them." I didn't even care that I was sending two toddlers back into what I perceived as extreme danger. Better them than me. Survival of the fittest, and all that. It was all I could do to stay conscious. Sidenote: We never went to that playground again.
4. I was sunbathing on a lounge chair in my backyard during college. A snake slithered near my chair. I jumped up and leaped as far as I could to the next lounge chair, where my feet went straight through to the ground. Hysterical and tangled up, I dragged the chair with me to the porch as I sobbingly screamed the whole way and then dead bolted my door to the backyard. That snake was NOT getting in my house. Sidenote: I never went into the backyard again.
5. I was walking on a cement path through a local state park with my family. I saw a snake on the path and took off, screaming that it was chasing me. I saw black before my eyes, but didn't pass out. My husband and kids laughed and laughed. Sidenote: I have not gone back to that park.
6. This story is my husband's favorite. This will make no sense to anyone else, but I feel a ringing in my ears like I might pass out just thinking about it again:
We were in Estes Park, Colorado. We'd taken the sky lift to the top of the mountain and were browsing through the gift shop. I was wearing clogs. (This is important to the story.) The shopkeeper was showing us things like Jackalope droppings, bear turds, etc. Lots of kitschy joke souvenirs. Then he handed me a little paper packet. "Those there are rattlesnake eggs. Probably about ready to hatch." Suddenly, the paper packet rattled in my hand. It was a spring release that he'd activated, but I didn't know that then. I thought the snake eggs had hatched. I thought (in the brief millisecond before the world went black) that I was now holding snakes in my hand. I screamed. I kicked up my legs and my shoes flew off. I jumped back and was blinded by blackness and a hot ringing in my ears. I was about to pass out even as I heard the shopkeeper and my husband laughing. It was all a joke. Ha, ha. So funny. Sidenote: The shopkeeper did NOT make a sale.