Monday, 13 August 2012

There's a snake in my boot

"Look Mama, my sister has a snake!"

This phrase pretty much tops the list of alarming things a mother can hear her four-year old say about her two-year old.

Upon hearing it, I went running to find my grinning, barefoot toddler casually twirling a snake on the doorstep. What initially looked to be a rare ten-foot New Mexican boa constrictor, turned out upon closer inspection to be a five-inch garden snake. Ali had him in a tight pincer grasp by the tail, and the unfortunate snake wore a rather bored expression as if to say: "oh boy, not this again."

Garden-variety gorgon. 
Since my brave other half wasn't there to do something sensible, I squawked about like an idiot for several minutes. Then I managed to de-snake my toddler, shove both barefoot kids inside, fetch a glass bowl, and chuck the snake over the fence.

My good friend, the wise OneArmGirl, witnessed this event, and remained calmer. Afterwards, she managed to nearly convince me that the snake didn't actually seem bent on my destruction.

I wish I could say this was an isolated episode. But just yesterday morning I reached for a plum and nearly grabbed scorpion instead. I flapped about like an idiot for several minutes, before noticing that the scorpion was trapped in my fruit bowl by steep ceramic sides. Thus he was incapable of escaping to the kitchen counter, where he would surely charge me like a furious ninja devoid of mercy and compassion.

While I envisioned the gory details of this certain outcome my brave other half - who was fortunately on hand for this incident - casually picked up the bowl and walked the scorpion to the door. Then he reassured me with moderate success that scorpions are not actually ninjas.

But I remain concerned. I have reason to believe they are all out to get me. You see, just the day before yesterday I stepped on a hornet lurking in the carpet of my kid's room, and he promptly stung the crap out of my right foot.
The scorpions are restless. 

Not long after, I was out walking around when I felt something truly vicious - at the time I assumed bear or velociraptor - bite me right in the backside.

There is simply no dignified or modest way to figure out what is biting you in the backside. Should you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, you will need to crack out the Jim Carey moves and - depending on the severity of the bite - risk an obscenity charge for de-pantsing in public.

It turns out that 'ants in the pants' is not just an expression. In the insult to injury department, being bitten by a velociraptor that turns out to be a mere de-pantsing ant doesn't exactly make you look tough.

Things have been quiet since the snake-twirling incident. But I remain on high alert. A decade in England - where the most dangerous local creature is a pub landlord - did little to prepare me for ninja-bugs.

I always tell my children to be gentle with things that are smaller than them: babies, animals, bugs, etc. However, now that the local bug population appears to be turning me into the butt of their jokes, I may reconsider my peaceful position.

I suspect attacks will continue apace. There is likely a gang of local rattlesnakes with my mugshot, just waiting for the right moment to strike. I stand ready to defend myself with a fruit bowl, and two barefoot children.


  1. Oh I can't imagine having to tackle a snake or a scorpion.I'm a big wuss when it comes to earwigs *shudders*.

  2. No shame there - earwigs are absolutely terrifying, and they also have it in for me.

    Thanks for stopping by MM :)

  3. Oh my goodness, I'm kind of laughing and crying for you at the same time! We had the snake in the basement incident but had it been one of my kids holding it, I would have FREAKED. And scorpions! And ants! OK, the ants are evil here too. Good luck with them all, the bugs here terrify me and I lost all of my goodness to creature-kind very quickly :) x

  4. Hah - I am likewise still laughing and crying (and shaking) over the incident. It is easier to be kind to creatures in Blighty, isn't it??

    'Snake in the Basement' sounds like a horror film title btw. That, or the sequel to 'Snakes on a Plane'.

  5. It is, right? And here I thought boarding the Underground before 9am was scary...

  6. This is a great piece.
    I laughed so my open cubicle!

  7. Oh wow... A few things to get (re)used to over there!! I would not be happy about the scorpions in particular! I was also the victim of an ant the other day. A fire ant bit me on the arm, it was awful... Watch out for those rattlesnakes!

  8. Ants are totally evil, aren't they? I will never be deceived by their small size again...

  9. Ah thanks Audrey! The careers councillor told me to go for realistic goals, so this makes me feel one baby step closer to 'Work Disruption Consultant' :)

  10. Hahaha and OMG! Hilarious but scary too. Thankfully I've never come across a snake or a scorpion...I'm a big enough wuss when it comes to spiders and moths. Remind me to never come visit you :)

  11. Spiders and moths are scary enough for me too...apparently there are also mountain lions out here, just in case you needed another reason not to visit ;)

  12. Yes! And btw, I came home with a bite on my backside as well. I think you are just the most exciting thing to happen to those bored insects, etc, in some time.

  13. Oh no, they got you too??? I certainly hope it wasn't Ali wot donnit. Hope to see you again soon out here in snake country - bring your boy and his dragon for defence :)

  14. Hate snakes with a passion. Too many venomous ones here (like where you are I would imagine....)

    So glad it was only a little garden snake.

  15. Likewise - even garden snakes make me want to run for the hills.

  16. Oh, that's scary.. snakes and scorpions would take me a long time to get used to. There are a few deadly creatures here in Australia, but living in the city, at least I'm not constantly surrounded by them.

  17. Your snakes and spiders are WAY scarier than mine. Good thing they don't come out all the time :)