No, it’s not a euphemism for something your mom told you not to do before marriage.
It’s what you sometimes get to do when you live in the country. Tonight, at about 11pm, Tony and I were walking Abby for the last time before going to bed, as we always do. Abby was sniffing at things and enjoying the night air, nosing around in the pinestraw lining the driveway and looking for frogs, when suddenly she jumped straight up and back, growling and barking. When I shined my light over in that direction to see what had startled her, there was a snake, about 24 inches long and coiled up to strike. We weren’t sure whether Abby had been bitten or not, so we thought it safest if we went ahead and killed the snake in case we needed to identify it for the emergency vet.
So Tony took off up the hill for the hoe, and I stood there, in the dark, with a squirmy dog in one hand and a squirmy snake in the beam of my flashlight. Creepy. Very creepy. The wind was blowing, water droplets were being shaken from the pine trees overhead, and I stood there staring at a snake. Or…two! Sure enough, another snake, about the same size, sidled up and started getting “romantic” with the first. It was just like a Wild Kingdom episode, right there in our pine island.
Okay, maybe it was more like Wild Kingdom Meets Halloween, as Tony approached with a garden implement and proceded to hack both snakes into oblivion. My hero!
Being a peaceful person, I felt kind of guilty about being a party to their death, but upon closer inspection (yeah, I don’t like to get close to live snakes, only dead ones) they were positively identified as copperheads.
So much for getting to bed at 11. Here it is, 12:53 pm, and I’m still awake, waiting for the adreneline surge to abate so I can go to bed. But I’m happy to report that Abby wasn’t bitten, and in the end, that was most important to me.
P.S. We put the snakes in a tupperwear container. I can’t WAIT to show my mom and hear her shriek! Sometimes, my inner ten-year-old is hard to suppress.