Once upon a time, in the land of Carolina North, there lived a writer who ripped up the rug in her kitchen. Eww, you must be thinking, a rug in the kitchen. Yes, a rug in the kitchen, which is why the writer ripped it up.
It was a large rug, so the writer, who was handy with an electric carving knife, cut the rug into manageable portions, rolled these portions up, tied them with an old clothesline and laid them in a small pyramid out in the carport to take to the dump at a later date.
As the writer knew deep down she would probably never go to the dump, she decided to place the rolled up portions of rug into the trash can. There were six portions in all, three small and three large. The writer took the smallest three and placed these portions down the street in her parent's trash cans, because, although not being the brightest bulb when it comes to math, she does have decent knowledge of what will fit into a trash can.
With that, she lifted one of the larger portions of rug to heave it into her own trash can and to her surprise, a snake laid in between the two remaining portions of rug. The snake was lovely, brown and yellowish green, small, and wrapped around in a lovely coil. He lifted his head slightly, as if to acknowledge the writer's presence and wondering for a moment why she had taken his warmth away, but then placed his head back onto his lap and returned to sleep.
The writer wondered what kind of snake it was, although did not give it a second thought that it could ever be something potentially dangerous, and so placed a box over the snake and then a large rock on top of the box. Knowing the woman across the street liked snakes, the writer called her. However, the woman would not be available to look at the creature until later on that day.
And so, the writer continued cleaning the rest of the carport, cleaning the house, going about her regular Saturday cleaning business; laundry, kitchen, bathrooms. (If you thought this writer had a cleaning staff, I'm afraid you have the wrong writer.)
Early evening brought the woman across the street to the carport. And she was excited because all day long she had dreamed this small snake would be a replacement for a corn snake she had lost after 27 years. The woman eagerly lifted the box, and then quickly placed it back over the snake.
The writer asked, "What is wrong? Do you not like the snake?"
The woman said, "It is not a corn snake, my dear. It is a copperhead. And they are exceedingly dangerous."
The writer, who had grown up on the shores of Rhode Island, who had only ever seen a garter snake in real life, who at least had had the forethought to cover it with a box, said to the woman, "Well, what shall we do with it?"
The woman suggested they call -- the police, the fire department, animal control, the science museum, the hospital, the pest control business -- and all refused to deal with the poor little snake. When one last call prompted the response, "Oh, you must destroy it," this made both the writer and the woman very sad. It was a lovely little snake and not bothering anyone, and why was death the only option?
Surely, God had created the snake for a reason, although perhaps did not mean for it to be in the carport of a writer in Carolina North, near a small child, a little cat named Henry, and three very stupid dogs. Was there a way to transport the snake to a better place, where he would not upset so very many people, where he would be safe and not so dangerous?
Well, yes there was, however, the woman and the writer remained stymied as to how to pick up the snake in the first place without getting injured. He was a copperhead after all. Unfortunately, what they needed, was a man. A man who would not be afraid to deal with a little snake under a box. Okay, a poisonous little snake under a box.
Surprisingly, the man down the street had a son, a very lovely young man who was not afraid of anything, and after much deliberation, killed the little snake with one quick chop of an ax. The woman and the writer each said a prayer releasing the little snake's soul up to the Lord and asking for forgiveness in killing it.
Let this be a lesson for you all -- Be careful what you leave outside in the carport in the fall.
Did I happen to mention this writer also has a cord of wood stacked on the other side of the carport, and that copperhead snakes like to curl up into wooden stacks to hibernate?
Robynne Rand (c) 2013