Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Snakes in Trees

Last Sunday my brother, Charlie, and his family (HEY, SAM!!) were over at our house.  We have this BIG tree in the back yard that is leaning over the back part of the house and we needed someone brave (aka: Charlie) to come help us get it down.  Since William is deathly afraid of heights and I am not "fit" enough to climb a tree, Charlie was on his own. My brave bro was about 30 feet up and taking a break from the strenuous work of running a chainsaw one handed (because he had to hold on with the other hand).  The girls were playing on a blanket by the back patio, teasing Charlie about how snakes were going to climb up there and get him.  He shots back and says, "Ha Ha, I am in a tree, there are no snakes up here!  I'm in a safer place then you are!" Oh, yes....he really had to say that. From experience, you should never "test" the nature around you.  One phrase you should also never say is, "What else could happen?"  Okay...well, the story goes on.
After deciding that he needed something cold to drink, Charlie climbs down the tree and takes a small break.  William and my bro are sitting on the tailgate of his truck when William says, "Holy (crap), is that a snake?"  We all froze.  We started looking and saw a 6+ foot black snake rolling down the naked looking tree.  Of course, the girls start freaking out, running around like a flock of headless chickens, screaming at the top of their lungs.  William runs into the house to grab the closest gun he can find (which happens to be a double barrel on our mantle) and the kids go running in behind him.  I could see the girls standing in the sunroom with their hands over their mouths, tears rolling down their faces, and fear covering them.  Of course William, who has only killed one deer in his whole life (well with a gun), missed the first shot (which tells you why he has only killed one deer).  He runs towards the house to reload and the door was locked!  He hollered at the girls to come unlock the door but they were too scared because they thought the snake was coming in with him.  After about 5 minutes of pleading, the girls gave in. 
While all of this is taking place and Sam, Charlie, and I are just watching, laughing our keesters off...but keeping a close eye on the snake to make sure it doesn't come closer to us.  William brings out two bullets and hands the gun to Charlie.  First shot = dead snake.  The girls finally came out of the house and were doing a thorough investigation of the black snake while the adults watched.  Not even 10 minutes later, another snake is spotted in the same tree, coiled around a low branch.  "Ok, maybe that wasn't the safest place to be," Charlie says as we watch William scramble for the shotgun. 
Our "chickens" head for the "chicken coop" again as the gun is handed over to Charlie.  The snakes laid side-by-side as we tried to give them a rough measurement...and I would say they were good six-feet, headless.  I grabbed both snakes by the tails (do they have tails?) and took them to the fence row, throwing them over so they would be out of sight.  I have to say, Dawna and Bo (Sam and Charlie's little cuties), seemed to be fine with girls crying, screaming, and acting like girls, while they played on the blanket during the whole fiasco.  I was rather impressed!
Needless to say that we haven't walked under that tree without looking up to make sure there are no snakes in it since that day.  My mom came over last night and the girls acted fearless when they walked her to the fence to see the Killer Snakes...but we all know they are chickens when the snakes are alive!

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