Sunday, May 06, 2007

This is for the birds!

At last Tuesday's Orr Street event, our younger daughter won one of the books Anthony provided as door prizes. While others got books by David Lynch and Mark Doty, Hayley got The Automatic Millionaire. She was delighted. This past week at bedtime, instead of fairy tales, she chose this for reading material. And as is sometimes the case, she decided to read it to me. It has required that I answer a lot of questions as she sounds out the words such as, What is a millionaire? And, What is the American Dream? Today at my usual reminder to bring a book or journal, guess what she toted to church?

After church, on what began as a lovely spring day, I decided to walk to our pond to make a phone call and throw bread crumbs to the fish. I went out the front door carefully because a bird recently built its nest in our door light. We noticed two days ago that the nest, a foot or two above eye level, was brimming with tiny beaks. Every time we open the door, the mom flies to the drainpipe to monitor us until we leave. So when I stepped out the door today I first glanced at the nest to check on the babies' progress and then looked the other way to nod an assurance to mom before I carefully attempted to close the door. But it wouldn't shut. I tried to close it three times, each time a bit more forcefully, before assuming the doormat must be stuck in it. I opened it to push the rug out of the way but the rug was not in the way. I looked up to see what could be preventing the door from closing and saw a HUGE black snake was hanging half in and half out of the top of our door! I had been squishing it each time! Thank God his tail end was on my side and that tail ends don't bite. I screamed, released the door and jumped back. It dropped on the stoop, half in and half out of the house. It was a good five feet long. Wayne came running to the door (me now ten feet down the path) and slammed it shut leaving me momentarily outside with the snake. Remembering I was out there, he opened the door and the snake slithered under the bush beside us which is where he remained as my heart slowed to pre heart attack rates and we pondered what to do. Figuring the snake was going for the baby birds and had somehow hoisted himself up that high, I removed the wreath on the door which possibly helped him get up there. I only hope now he can't reach the babies. I may never know, however, because I'm never going out my front door again.


Karen Miedrich-Luo said...

That was the biggest darn laugh I've gotten from your blog. I need to send you a photo of some of the five-foot water moccasins my grandmother used to rustle out of the grasses in Land o'Lakes, Florida before she'd let us jump off the pier into their bass-stocked, cypress-shrouded Lake. You need to invest in some regional Field Guides and stay abreast of what's poisonous and what isn't.
And kudos to Hayley, whose love of reading mirrors her parents. May she live long and prosper in a million different ways.

Jenni said...

Oh my Lord, that is scary! I've not encountered a lot of snakes, but I don't think I would like it. Not at all.