By Mike Wilcox
I’ve experienced many critters inside my house — frogs, toads, lizards — which I’ve had to barehand and send scurrying to safety in their outside habitat.
Last week I was awakened by a shriek that I had not heard before. I knew my wife had been ousted from her dreams by our dogs at 4 a.m. When I rolled over to see if she was next to me, I discerned the scream came from her in the dining room.
I threw off the covers, grabbed my slippers and went to see the source of the scream. Had my wife fallen on the hard floor? Had one of the dogs had a seizure?
As I approached the dining room I noticed my wife whimpering in a corner. All she could do is point at the floor 10 feet from her. There it was, not a gecko nor tree frog, but a big bad snake slithering across the floor.
Being the hero I am (ha ha), I grabbed a nearby broom and approached the unwanted critter. The outside door was only 10 or 12 feet away and I was able to broom the agitated snake out it.
It wasn’t easy as I pushed it one way, it slithered in the opposite direction. After a few minutes, however, I won and the snake did its slithering down the driveway.
I still haven’t figured out what the dogs were doing during this traumatic event. We have three big ones: two labs and a German shepherd, that were nowhere to be found when I approached the snake. Some protection they are.
Later I learned my wife had run so hard trying to escape the snake, she hit the kitchen wall full force with her hands and sprained one of her wrists. It had swollen to twice its normal size and required a splint to protect it from more damage. She had just experienced her worst nightmare — a snake in the house — and was paying dearly for it.
As we men do, I tried a variety of tactics to calm her down. And as women are, nothing seemed to work.
She got on the phone, dialed a realtor friend and demanded the house be put up for sale. My wife later retracted that. She demanded that I run to the store, get every brand of snake repellant and mothballs available and spread them liberally around the perimeter the house. I did as I was told.
It’s been a week and there are no signs of another snake. I take that back: the same day it invaded the house I saw another — about a 6-foot black snake slithering across our driveway. I have yet to tell her about that.
Every morning I now get up with the dogs before the crack of dawn. It is standard procedure, demanded by my wife, that I turn on the dining room light, living room and the kitchen lights, all the hallway lights and carefully inspect each room. No additional critters have been found to date.
I have declared our home snakeless and sleepless. I have won the battle against the invaders but in so doing, have lost the battle for good sleep. Oh well, a home without snakes is more important than one where the spouse sleeps well — or that’s what my wife would say.