Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Only Bad Thing About the Nutty Forest

I love living here. Have I told you that? The Nutty Papa tells me I'm a city girl. I didn't grow up in a big city, but I grew up next to one, with a car. So I did what I wanted when I wanted. I didn't work outside. I spent my time at dance classes. So moving out to the country has been a new experience for me. And I love it! I love the smell of the air. I love the freedom I feel. Being able to do whatever I want outside without worrying about what the neighbors think. And I love the sound of the wind blowing through the trees.

That being said, there is one thing about living out here that I hate. Can't stand it. Drives me wild. Luckily I have only had to deal with this from a distance, a few times a year.

Meet my nightmare. Mr. Rattlesnake. Unfortunately, I have to share the country with him. He mostly keeps his distance. But every once in a while, he wanders, or slithers, over to my part of the world. Luckily, Mr. David is usually there to save me when he does. This particular fellow met Mr. David on our driveway. Mr. David ran over him with his car. Then he took him over to the barn and placed him under a tree so the kids could look at him. Thanks Mr. David.

We have run ins with these guys 2-3 times a year. I'll never forget my first run in with one. The kids and I were alone... the Nutty Papa had gone to Japan. Japan of all places. He couldn't have been farther away. We were returning one early March evening from a visit to Aunt Tricia's. It was dark. I told Chojuk to feed the puppies and I was going to go get some laundry off the line. That's when I heard it. Not a rattle. A scream. I came running and it was Chojuk. He was hysterical. I could barely understand him. Finally, I figured out he'd seen a rattlesnake. When I asked him where it was, he said, "Come here, I'll show you." Wait a minute. I didn't want to see it. Didn't want to get close to it. Didn't want to let HIM get close to it. So I told him to point to it. And sure enough. There was a tiny little rattlesnake curled up on the back door, preventing us from going in. Not knowing who else to call at 9pm, I called Mr. Pete, our mechanic.

"Pete..."
Groggily.... "Yes"
"I think there's a rattlesnake by my back door."
"You think?"
"Well, I'm not getting close enough to see."
"Is it alive?"
"I don't know. I'm not getting close enough to see."
"You sure it's a rattlesnake? It's awfully early in the year for rattlesnakes."
"No, I'm not sure it's a rattlesnake. I'm not getting close enough to see."
"Is your gate open?"
"If you'll come kill it, I'll open the gate for you!"
"Let me get out of bed. I'll be right there."
"Thanks Mr. Pete."

Mr. Pete arrived and was as surprised as we were to see a little rattlesnake on our back porch. He brought a shovel and cut his head off. Then he showed it to the kids and gave us a little lesson in rattlesnake. I'm such a city girl!

To this day, if you ask the kids what to do if they see a rattlesnake they'll say, "Run away from it." And then what'll happen? "Mr. Pete will come with a shovel and kill it." Thanks Mr. Pete!

After that, I started askin' people how to get rid of them... or keep them away. Put down a rope... they don't slither over rope. I had a hard time findin' a rope long enough to go around 100 acres. Moth Balls, my father in law said. They don't like the smell of moth balls. So I went to Walmart and bought them out of moth balls. I put them all over the ground like I was landscaping the ground with them. Then my girlfriend Teza came out. She said she pulled onto the driveway and was so excited to be in the country, she rolled down her window to smell that wonderful country air. She started coughing from the smell of moth balls. Kinda ruins the whole country livin' thing. So I'm still lookin' for a solution.

Rattlesnakes. My country livin' nemesis. As long as I live here, he'll be here. But if my choices are live with the occasional run in, or leave, I'll live with the rattlesnakes. They bother me a lot less than my noisy neighbors used to.

But if you come up with a rattlesnake bait, let me know.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Isn't Rikki Tikki Tavi supposed to keep your garden snake free?

Invest in a mongoose.