Thursday, June 5, 2008

Emergency Intervention

I flipped on my left blinker to turn off my street, looking left, right, left…then right again. What is that? I squinted. On the street over by the mailboxes was a long piece of black tape and something wadded up. It looked like trash. I turned left and went two blocks then turned around. I had a sneaking suspicion.

I pulled up for a quick peek before heading off to work. I walked around the car to find out--it was what I thought—a full-grown black snake enmeshed in a wad of deer netting. Crap! I toed it with my black linen open-toed espadrille. It writhed. Double-crap!

I took a deep breath and exhaled heavily. I would have to do something. It was still alive. I happened to have a pair of scissors in the pocket of the driver’s side door. I never keep scissors in the car, but I guess I understand the parsel tongue of the snake gods and somehow knew I would need them.

I squatted on the street next to the snake. Its tongue flickered out. It was tangled from its head to about ¼ of the way down it body. Working my way toward the head, I eased a section of the black plastic filament away from its scales and snipped.

Snip by snip, square by square, I cut the snake out of the netting. The freer it got, the more it wiggled, until finally it was curling around on itself. I picked it, and the still attached mess of netting up, taking it up to the rock wall by the driveway. There on top of a gigantic boulder that I used as a table, I finished cutting it out. As I got closer to the head, around its throat and eyes, it stopped moving. When it was finally free and I pulled off the last piece, I nudged it off the rock and into the flowerbed. It slithered from view. I hope it returns the favor and hangs around. I need a few black snakes to ease the chipmunk over-population situation at my house. I am going to make a point of gathering up all of the deer netting anywhere on my property. I will never use it again. This is not the first time I have had to cut a snake out of it.


Leanne said...

I happened upon your blog by chance, and this post moved me. You helped that poor snake, a kindness not many would have bestowed. well done you, and I am certain the Universe will repay that kindness when you need a friend

blessings Leanne , UK

djbrown said...

There are precious few who would have done that, (though I confess to having performed similar rescues). I agree with Leanne; the Universe turns a kind eye to those who show compassion on its creatures. And thank you for dumping the deer netting!

Anonymous said...

What kind of snake was it? A black racer? Or a rat snake? Tom

Anonymous said...

Good on you, Bev! I'm so glad you helped that poor snake -- and glad to know someone (or a few someones, Di) who would do something like that!!

Hope your day rewards you in kind.


Bevson said...

I do not know much about snakes so I do not know what kind it was. By the strength of it, I would say some sort of constrictor. It was shiny black with a creamy white underbelly from chin to tail. It eye had a yellow or light iris. It was about 5 feet long (male?). Could be a racer or a rat snake. It was not hognosed. It is very similar to this picture I took last year at Ringwood Manor. The one in the photo moved like lightening, so I would guess it was a racer.

Bevson said...

The email jury is leaning toward Rat Snake. Thanks everyone.

Gale, great document. The bad news is that according to it, there are both copperheads and timber rattlers up here. Yikes.

Anonymous said...

What a good samaritan you are, Bev. Quite a story! Pam

Sparverius said...

You are my hero for the day! I adore snakes! Gotta love those gut feelings that get you to turn around.

Sara said...

Well done! I'm impressed... but, I would prefer to have lots of chipmunks instead of a couple of snakes in my garden ;-)

Bevson said...

I had to cut it out of netting again! Or at least I assume it was the same snake. Where is he getting it and how is he managing to drag it to my yard.

Norie said...

How interesting that you had to cut it out again!

And especial kudos to your courage to pick the snake up. I haven't read enough of your blog to know if you do snake handling!

Five years ago, fresh from the city to the country side in Apex, on a farm property, I picked up a bin I'd left on the deck and saw a black tape like thing rise up out of the far side of the bin! OMG you'd a thought I was attached by the Huns with spears and swords and all kinds of viscious weapons.

I dropped it. I screamed for dear life - couldn't have staged that if I tried. And ran into the house. Locked the door... just amazing what instincts kick in. Called my landlord: "Ken, you might want to know that there was a black snake on the porch." What I meant to say is, "I'm scared to death, if you don't come over immediately and save me, I'm going to die!"

He came over. The snake had gone. He told me that after a year, I'd have a change of heart with snakes. And low, and behold, after a year I had a month when I encountered three snakes, and everything was different - no fear, just respect.

But to pick one up!?!