I don't have a picture for this post, so I won't be able to pin it to Pinterest.
I don't have a picture because I don't want a picture of my subject today to appear on my blog every time I look at it. I don't like to look at snakes. They are just among God's creepiest creatures. He made all those creatures, great and small, and among them is the slithering snake. Many of us cannot bear the sight of any reptile.
A strange thing has happened. I have overcome the desire to immediately chop off the head of every snake I see. But I have come to a place of differentiation. There are snakes. And then there are SNAKES...YIKES! GET THE HOE! The latter is reserved for snakes that have rattling things on their tails and snakes that are big enough to squeeze the life out of an elephant. It only takes a moment for the brain to register the dangers.
And then there is the little black snake that has taken up residence in the fern bed surrounding the cluster of oak trees outside my back porch. A couple of weeks ago, I watched from the safety of the screened porch while he/she (who knows? How do you tell with a snake?) had a leisurely morning of sunning on my brick patio. From time to time, it scooted over to the bushes and reached up - I guess to grab some item of food. For a few minutes, I held my nerves in check and watched. The black thing soon disappeared into the bushes and out of my sight. I hoped it was going in search of some delicacy like a rat and not the little bunnies we so often see in our yard.
Time passed. I forgot. This morning, I took a walk through my yard, just to stretch my legs. They got stretched alright, when I nearly stepped on a black object in the grass. An involuntary yelp - actually shriek - flew out of me. Simultaneously, snake's nervous system gave the command and it flew into the nearby ferns. I think it was at least as surprised as I was.
Don't get me wrong. We are not going to bond. There will be no stroking and cuddling. We can co-exist. As long as it realizes the boundaries. Which goes for me, too. Because my husband would never take the hoe to a black snake. Just stay there in those bushes, little buddy, and all will be well. Because if you don't, I know where the hoe is, too.