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Debbie and the Snake

by Debra Ison about a year ago in how to
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How not to do battle with a snake


The morning started out like so many others. Up at six a.m., out the door by seven for a forty-five- minute commute. One morning, however, my routine was interrupted by an unwelcome visitor in my garage.

I stepped out of the kitchen and down two steps to the garage. I pushed the button on the wall to lift the garage door. The next five seconds or so are ones I will remember forever. Wound around the main spring over the garage door was a seven-foot-long snake! As the door spring turned to lift the door, the sleepy snake began to unwind and drop to the concrete floor, as if he was a spool of thread coming off a bobbin. Plop, plop, plop, the snake’s long body gradually made its way to the floor. In shock, I watched the snake, who must have been as surprised as I was, as he gathered his segmented body and decided to proceed toward me instead of choosing the safer route out the door.

In the short time required for the reptile to slither the fifteen feet toward me, my mind was frantically weighing my options. My first thought was to flee back into the house and shut the door. Then, I realized if I did, I wouldn’t come back out for fear that the “thing” would be under one of the cars and near my feet. So, in the next few seconds, before he would be in my personal space, I looked behind me for a weapon to allow me to do battle. Now, I know there is a way to determine by the eyes of a snake whether or not it is poisonous but I couldn’t remember the rule when faced with a seven-foot reptile making its way directly to me. What was it thinking? This could only end badly for one or both of us. I would have been satisfied to let it go its merry way if it had chosen to exit the garage instead of picking a fight with me. I was definitely in its sights and I knew a face-off was impending.

I looked behind me and found a push broom but no other object to use for a weapon. As the snake came within striking distance, I began to whack it with the bristles of the broom, hoping to either mortally wound it or make it give up the fight and leave the garage. Well, I learned one thing that morning. Snakes can’t be killed with the bristles of a broom. The harder I whacked, the angrier he became. He counter attacked with a vengeance, hitting the broom with his fangs over and over. It was terrifying.

I decided this wasn’t getting us anywhere, so I changed tactics. I decided to put those bristles to better use and push the snake out the door. Gradually, I managed to make progress even though the reptile was not finished striking out at the broom. He was mad and wanted that broom to know it! The broom was doing its job of sweeping the snake out the door but I’m sure if it could talk it would have had a lot to say to me about using it in such a way. Once the snake was out of the garage and on the driveway, I quickly ran to the other side of the garage and retrieved a hoe. The snake’s moments were numbered – or so I thought. In the few seconds it took to get the garden hoe, the snake had disappeared into the mulch of a flower garden that was adjacent to the driveway. Clever creature. He knew the value of living to fight another day. I was glad the creature was no longer in the garage, but I was worried about entering the garden to pull weeds ever after that fateful day.

I never saw the snake again even though I searched for him for several weeks. He may have decided to find a better place to live far away from the crazy lady and her push broom. So, we called it a draw. Neither of us had won but neither of us had lost either. What is that saying, any fight you can walk away from…?

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About the author

Debra Ison

After retiring from a career in physical therapy, I began my writing career and have written seven books. In my spare time I enjoy needlework and flower gardening. I live in Central Kentucky with my husband and faithful beagle, Bailey.

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