Friday, September 20, 2013

Over protective?

Mama had to run some errands, so Papa got to hang out with his three little ladies.  Being the multi-tasker that I am, I decided to go ahead and make dinner at the same time.  I fired up the grill and had just put the pork burgers on when the dogs started barking incessantly.  I checked on the girls and found the twins entertaining Ruby, so I went around the house to see what was going on. 

We had a raccoon in the yard a few months ago, which, according to Brynne, I broke...with a pellet gun.  I had to make sure we didn't have anything else potentially dangerous.  I got to where the dogs were and scanned the yard.  Nothing.
Ralphie and I both use pellet guns to "break" things.
I turned to head back to the grill and something caught my eye.  It appeared to be a bird that had fallen out a tree.  I started walking towards it, and so did the dogs.  The "bird" then struck out at the dogs, and was batted back with an incredibly quick paw.

So much for the bird.  It was a four and a half foot rat snake, coiled up and not looking pleased.

I put the dogs in their pen, trotted over to the barn to retrieve a shovel, and came back to find the snake right where I left it.  Five seconds later there were two snakes.  One was about three inches long and the other was four and a quarter feet long.

Both were still moving, but since the smaller snake had once been the larger snakes head, neither were harmful any longer.  I scooped them up and went back to the grill. 
To answer the question everyone is thinking, no, our entrée did not change.
After flipping the burgers, I brought the girls outside to see the snake.  Immediately, and not at all surprising, they tried to touch it, which I discouraged.  The body was still trying to slither away, though it was wrapped up in a rake and couldn't go anywhere.  It had left the head to fend for itself on the shovel.  The snake's mouth would open wide, then close slowly, only to reopen again.  Hadley thought it was funny that
"The snake is trying to eat Mama's shovel!" 
After watching it for a few minutes, we went inside to finish supper preparations. 

Mama came home and walked to the front door.  The girls and I were just inside, awaiting her return for two reasons.  First, so we could eat dinner.  Second, to see how she would react to the snake.  To say that Mama was not a fan of snakes would be an understatement.  We wondered if she would scream.  We had actually discussed that very question and were eager to find the answer.

To her credit, she never screamed.  As she walked up the front walk she looked to her left, did a double take, then shot up the stairs to the front door.  There was a barely audible "hey...hey...there's a...hey", followed by Mama nearly putting her fist through the glass door several times.

I opened the door smiling and asked what was wrong.  She pointed toward the snake, and finally was able to utter the word "snake".

I really hope this is the sign for snake crossing and not an indicator of the curve of the road ahead.
Once I pointed out it had no head, and she got over the fact that it was still wriggling around, she calmed down.  Not really, she brought it down a tiny bit, but was still keyed up.

At dinner, the girls repeatedly asked:
"Mama, why did you bang on the door?  It was just a snake."  
When we were done eating, we were going to head over to the neighbor's house to visit.  As we got our shoes on, Brynne calmly stated:
"Mama, you can walk next to me and I'll hold your hand so you won't be startled if we see another snake."
So what do you think?  Is my Brynne over protective of her Mama?  Does this make her a helicopter child?