“Snake Patrol”

Since childhood, I have had a morbid fear of snakes, or anything reptilian. So you can imagine my consternation when I was sittingin our ‘movie theater’ at the Vi, and the Security Guard walked in, apologized for being late, ” I’ve been  on ‘snake patrol’! she said.

Where? When? “Just outside on the walkway leading to my wing of the building, and on the walkway in the other direction as well.” How big? “Oh, just a garden snake” she said. Obviously she had no fear of this snake or any other.  I wonder what her morbid fears are. She proceeded to set up the movie system and we enjoyed a movie that displayed no snakes. A few days later, I had forgotten all about the episode, and was taking my cat out for a walk. Technically, I was walking and she was riding in her stroller. We had an uneventful walk and came back in the front door as the side doors were already locked. Then it struck me, what had I just done:  I’d  walked right out the same sidewalk that had been crawling with snakes a few evenings earlier! Oh well, I decided, I can’t hide insideon the off chance another snake will slither across the path.

Ironically, a few weeks earlier my niece and husband had been visiting ; I took them to a hiking area that should have been filled with wildflowers,but due to the unusual heat, the wild- flowers were pretty much gone. My niece and I were up ahead, enjoying the cool morning, looking at the now-golden hillsides. Suddenly her husband said, “ look what you gals just about walked over”, we turned around and several yards  behind him was the largest, blackest snake I had seen in many a day. We both did the hysterical girl thing, and,when we got through screaming, continued up the trail. But we made sure our male protector was ahead of us on the way back. He stopped at the area and paced it off. Yup, at least a 4 foot snake. In spite of the likelihood, I’m hoping this will be a ‘snake- less summer’ from now on. There’s only so much excitement of this variety I can handle. But I’m looking very carefully in front of me as I walk. Happy ‘snakeless’ summer!