I had my sneakers on and tied. It was a beautiful day outside. The birds were singing. We’ve finally been getting the rain we so badly needed. The dogs were all leashed up and ready to go. Walking out the door I inhaled the fresh warm air. Down the steps. Flanked by my two strapping young boys, who are now both much taller than me, I thought to myself life couldn’t get any better than this.
As I rounded the corner to walk between my driveway border garden and my truck, I admired my flowers. The brilliant colors, the pretty petals, the new flower with the dark brown centre contrasting with the bright yellow petals, the bright yellow stripe on the back of the snake. I let out a blood-curdling scream and ran to the end of the driveway. To the boys amusement, I completely lost my mind for the next three minutes. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t stand still, I kept swatting at parts of my body that felt as though something was crawling on it.
Nothing made sense anymore. I wasn’t happy about anything. I couldn’t hear the birds sing, nor see the sun shine. It was all gone. And I would have to move from my lovely home. I would never be able to walk barefoot around my yard again. Leisurely picking weeds on my hands and knees. All the best parts of my sanctuary were now far away.
Once I could think clearly again, I heard the boys saying ‘Let’s go for the walk’.
And I thought, ‘Good idea, the further away from the house, the better!’
But as we walked, the conversation turned to where the snake was now. Just before we walked away, I looked back and he was no longer there. I couldn’t see him anywhere.
‘Maybe he’s gone into the house,’ one of my former sons suggested.
‘Yeah, he may have crawled up into your truck, Mom,’ the other traitor implied.
So now I’ve lost my truck too? All in a matter of minutes?
Life can be so cruel.
As ridiculous as this sounds, my only clear thought was to get back to the house. And get inside. I would lock the door. Snakes can’t get through a locked door.
The boys had to resume the walk for the dogs.
‘Good idea, Mom!’ one of them shouted…’You go back with the snake!….’
‘Yeah…keep an eye on him, Mom!’
Mom? Why were these two complete strangers calling me Mom…I wondered.
I stepped very heavily on my way back to the house. Slamming my feet into the pavement would scare away anything on the ground. While keeping the rest of my body as far away from the ground as possible. Even my arms were up. Between steps it was almost as if I was flying.
‘This is good,’ I thought, ‘he’ll never catch me now..’
I didn’t dare look toward the garden. If he was back there, I didn’t want to know.
‘But what if he’s somewhere else? Wouldn’t I want to know where he is?’
So I started turning my head searching for the yellow stripe. I could still hear muffled shouts coming from the lost boys.
Whatever they said made me run faster. I made a wide circle around my poor truck, who had likely been overtaken in my absence. I would miss her the most. Realizing I couldn’t go too far around the truck without getting into dangerous territory of grass. Damn the tall grass!
Why hadn’t we cut the grass since it started raining again?! Damn the rain, Damn the drought, Damn the lawnmower….damn it all. Once I reached the house I was never coming out again anyway. I had lots of pictures to remember how pretty it all was.
There was now grass & weeds growing between the rocks in the pathway. I don’t remember them being that tall. What is that on my NECK?!
Hair…just hair! I slapped at my arms & legs again…batting away invisible monsters.
I would have to leap over the strips of grass between the steps…grass just tall enough to aid and abet a legless fugitive. I realized at once that I had been speaking the whole time, nonsensical gibberish just to keep from hearing the grass move. I wondered what I would be able to bring to my new rubber room. Definitely my books. I would need to read. Or I would go insane.
At last! I reached the steps. Thump, thump, thump, thump! I was up them in less than a second. Without looking back, I tore open the door and flung myself inside. I brushed every part of my body to make sure nothing had come in with me. Kicking off my shoes, I went straight for the kitchen and my chocolate.
It was a nice world outside. While it lasted. I really used to enjoy my gardening. What a rich fantasy life I led for that two years. Two years, believing that I was in a safe place.
It’s like I always say. Safety is an illusion.
Trust no one.
Especially the man that tells you a house in the country is a snake-free zone.
*PLEASE NOTE THERE ARE NO IMAGES IN THIS POST ON PURPOSE – I CANNOT LOOK AT A PICTURE OF A YOU-KNOW-WHAT WITHOUT LIFTING MY FEET OFF THE FLOOR*