A Villian is loose on the J&A Chicken Ranch tonight.
Mothers, hold your babies.
Men, gather up a posse.
There’s trouble. And I don’t think I’ll be sleeping until The Villian is captured.
Let me start at the beginning.
I let a cantaloupe go bad, so I decided to cut it up and take it to the chickens. So there we all were, me and the chickens, them enjoying their moldy treat, and me bawking at them, trying to carry on a conversation. Bawk, bawk, bawk.
When all of a sudden, I caught the movement out of my excellent peripheral vision. It didn’t take long for me to be up and alert, on my feet, like a jungle cat, well aware that very close to me and my chickens, a snake was slithering. A snake. My heart raced. My breath quickened. My fight or flight response kicked in.
What does a brave, strong, fearless country girl like me do in a situation like this?
Panic, that’s what.
I screamed. I ran to the house for the phone. I called my husband, only to get his dadgum voice mail.
Thoughts raced. The snake was little, a mere baby, with a head no bigger than my thumb. It was grayish, with black diamonds covering its back. I didn’t see a rattle, but baby rattlesnakes don’t always have rattles. It could be a Bull Snake. It was skinny, and I feared not for myself but for my chickens. He could easily squeeze his moldable body through the chicken wire, unhook its massive jaws and swallow a chicken in one gulp. I was sure of it.
Seconds ticked past. As The Villian surprisingly slowly crawled underneath a whole bunch of junk laying up near the saddle house, I searched frantically for a weapon and found a shovel. He was unattainable at this point. I could see his head, and his tail, but could reach neither.
So began the stand-off. I would wait him out. He’d have to come out eventually. And when he did, WHACK!!
He stared at me.
I stared at him.
He darted his forked tongue at me.
I darted mine back.
Then my cell phone rang. It was J-Dub. I informed him I was having a snake stand off. He advised me to leave him alone. But I insisted that The Villian must die. The chickens. I must protect my chickens. He was still lying underneath several branding irons, amidst stacks of bricks. My beloved tells me to get something long and poke it at him. And of course, he offers to come home and take care of The Villian. But I hate to bother a working man, so I tell him I’ll take care of it myself and hang up the phone.
Alone. Scared. Just The Villian and I.
We stare each other down some more. I decide against poking him. I’ve watched the Discovery Channel. I’ve seen snakes lash themselves out 70 feet with mouth spread wide and venom dripping off their fangs. I didn’t want to make him mad. I’m nonconfrontational after all. I prefer the surprise sneak attack: stand like a soldier until he crawled out, and surprise him with a shovel chop to the head.
Thirty minutes pass. The snake has fallen asleep, dreaming of chicken dinners. I, however, remain vigilant. I am ever alert.
Finally growing tired of standing in one place, I gather all the courage I can muster, and using my shovel I move around some branding irons. The Villian stirs. I’ve got him running scared now. I use my shovel again and manuever some more junk around. He moves some more. If only he would come out of his hiding place. If only he would stick his head out, I’d chop it off. I see myself raising my weapon, whacking his head clean off, I see his tail twitch, I see my prize kill lying before me. But instead he turns around and slithers off somewhere deep and dark. A hidey-hole of which I can not find. I lose The Villian. He roams free tonight.
Fathers, protect your daughters.
Chickens, sleep with one eye open.
First rule!!!!!!! Always have your cell phone with you. Never leave the house with out it !!!!!! Mother was bit by a baby rattler soon after she and daddy got married. Be careful. History repeats itself. LO
I remember that story. She told me that the doctor was retired, and his wife was telling him he didn’t need to help her, but he sucked the venom out. And it was the only time she ever had whiskey, so the story went.
May the chickens sleep safely tonight. Keep us posted, please. Tomorrow is another chance to ‘git that ‘rattler’. ~ Lenore
I’ve got them locked up tighter than Dick’s hat band. (which means pretty tight). He’ll probably be long gone ‘fore tomorrow. I hope, anyway.
Well, girl, you really had me going there for a bit! If my “Skype” had been on and anybody was watching, they would have seen me sitting back in my computer chair relaxing at the beginning of this post and then, word by word, sentence by sentence I sat up straighter and inched closer and closer to the screen until I was almost INSIDE the durn thing!! (you’re almost as great a “tale-teller” as your dad! I wanted to go get a rake, a hoe, whatever and help you get that little varmit!! Nobody, but nobody can harm Freedom and your other babies…that’s for sure. I certainly hope you will keep us informed as to the outcome of this saga! Anxiously awaiting chapter 2 … until next time .. Donna H.
I’m not telling no tales, Donna. All I ever tell is the truth. Scouts honor 🙂 If my dad was telling that story, it would have been a King sized rattler, coiled and ready to strike, he would have had to rassle it to the ground and bite it on the neck, then fry it for supper with hog eyes and sour kraut.
true…i love your stuff sweetie…you keep writing please….
What I wanna know is…if there’s a baby snake, don’t ya think the mama snake is somewhere close by? Oh, I got the heebie jeebies just thinking’ about her. Do you remember when we were little and mom picked up that garden snake and freaked us out? She stood there holding it as it peed down her arm….:/ Then we also got in trouble once for killing a garden snake, remember that? If you need back-up, call mom….:)
Yes I remember beating that snake to death with a rock or something. I don’t remember a snake peeing down mom’s arm. However, I did call her for back up. She said. “Bull snakes are good.” I said, “Not when they’re going to eat my chickens!!” I don’t know about the mama snake, but if I don’t kill this one, it will be a mama some day, having babies all over the place probably.
Hope you had a good rest! Now on to your first summer on the ranch!
Have you checked under you bed? Sometimes those baby snakes get in the house. LOL
I think you need to start writing a children’s series based on the life experiences of a country girl! I laughed the entire time I was reading this:)