Tuesday, October 14

The snake that came to stay

This week the topic is about embarrassing moments and while I've had plenty of those, most of them have been buried deep in denial land and I've been advised not to go in there without medical supervision (and gloves)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, as I glossed over all the stupid things I've done I suddenly recalled a little adventure my husband and I had about fifteen years ago when we were still living in Australia. The house we were in was on a small island that overlooked the water but was surrounded by bush. So one day when we went upstairs for lunch there was a rustling noise and we both looked over to see a small brown snake slithering across the room.

I immediately started to scream (not before jumping onto the closest table) and then as I racked my brain for everything I knew about snakes, I suddenly remembered that brown snakes were poisonous. The minute I told my non-snake-experienced English husband this, he jumped on the table next to me as the snake continued to slink along our carpet.

Now some people like to say that snakes are just as scared of us as we are of them, but I can assure you this is NOT the case and after standing on the table for about fifteen minutes, my husband realized he was going to have be a man and try and get it out of the house. For moral support I crept behind him, clutching at his shoulders and screaming every time the snake so much as stuck out its tongue.

Eventually he managed to hustle the snake to the back of the kitchen. I seem to recall the thinking was that we could then try and get it to go out the window. Unfortunately, the snake, obviously not liking this idea (it was a second storey window so I suppose I can see its point) decided to go toward the fridge instead and then proceeded to wrap itself around all the wiring at the back -it was an old fridge.

Anyway, the more my husband tried to get it off, the more it stuck - not helped by my continual screaming and arm flaying. After about an hour of complete panic, the snake was still there and since this was before the days of computers and google we ended up ringing the museum to try and find out what to do with this highly poisonous creature.

I was thinking they would need to send some sort of snake removal expert over in a helicopter at the very least and after I stopped hyperventilating, I finally managed to describe the snake.

Which was when the poor person on the other end of the phone had to inform me that it wasn't a brown snake but rather a completely harmless grass snake and that we should just leave open the windows and doors and wait for it to leave.

Okay, so perhaps it wasn't poisonous but it still looked pretty scary and there was no way in the world we were just going to calmly wait for it to leave, so I made my husband help me drag our very old, very heavy fridge outside onto the deck and wait until the thing finally untangled itself and went away.

The whole incident took about five hours and after the snake finally left, our closet neighbour appeared and when we explained what had happened they blinked at us like we were crazy and said that we should've just called them and they would've picked it up for us. What? And miss out on all that humiliation and screaming? Never...


Natalie Hatch said...

Oh Amanda I have soo been here before. It was a carpet python though not a brownish looking snake. It eventually left. I had to face my fears at university though, we were taught to handle and capture snakes. Not the best lesson in the world I must say and one I don't care to redo. I still don't like them.

Alyson Noel said...

My sister used to have a snake when we were kids, a boa constrictor that ate small, innocent, unsuspecting mice (I know!), and my friends always wanted to come over at feeding time to watch the whole gory strangulation process, which never ended well for my furry friend . . .

But these days, if I found a snake in my house, I'd probably faint, or hyperventilate, or both. They totally creep me out!

Wendy Toliver said...

I've never had a snake for a pet, but my mom and boyfriend (now husband) have had several through the years. I'm not necessarily afraid of them, but I don't think I'd want an uninvited one in my house. Especially if I didn't know if it was poisonous or not. Great story, Amanda!

Sara Hantz said...

OMG I'd have been on the table next to you!!!!

Amanda Ashby said...

Natalie - I'm not even going to tell you what happened when Ionce saw a carpet python - they are so scary looking!! As for having to learn to handle them - eeek - better you than me! These days the closest I get to snakes is looking at them through the glass at Australia Zoo!!!

Alyson - omg - I'm so thankful that my brother only had goldfish because I don't think I could've coped with a snake in the house (as my story will attest!!)

Wendy - wow, your mom had a snake? That is so hard core!!! I'm such a total wimp about anything creepy. No wonder I like it in New Zealand better because they hardly have any of the weird things that Australia has!!!

Sara - it was very undignified let me tell you!!!!

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

I'm OK with snakes. It's spiders that keep me away from the desert southwest and Australia. Big, hairy spiders.