It seems like a day to reacquaint myself with nature, so armed with a trusty rusty long-handled shovel, I scour the lawn for mushrooms. Not for my consumption (public opinion to the contrary, I am no fool) but to safeguard the feckless puppy from potential ‘shroom doom. Huge multicolored Walt Disneyian things, they have sprouted like, well, toadstools, growing before my eyes in a slo-mo nature panorama. Since this particular shovel is ordinarily used for the picking up of her poops, a useless activity in her estimation, the puppy pays no attention to my efforts, being intent on pestering first a wasp, then a toad, then oops, a snake. In Maine there are no poisonous snakes, but the good people of this good state attested only a few years ago that there was no Lyme disease, no coyotes, no mountain lions…you get the picture.
I am sure that this snake is in fact of the ‘grass’ variety, yet my previous dog was bitten by one of these seemingly harmless reptiles, and I don’t relish having this guy slinking so close to the non-hermetically-sealed cellar door. I ferret out an agreeable three pound coffee can with matching lid, place it in the pine needles near the snake’s head, the puppy pounces, the snake crawls in for safety. Eureka! We have established capture! The lid is carefully popped on. Snake-in-a-can.
The canned snake and the puppy and I bundle into the Volvo for a tiny trip. We travel up the driveway and cross the field to the old gravel-pit, which seems a fitting home for my captive. I do love nature. I want to preserve it, though not necessarily within the confines of my living area. This spot should be snake nirvana.
Then the rain starts. Big pelting drops. Angry water from the sky. I open the Volvo’s door and the puppy dashes out and, assaulted by the rain on her precious ears, dashes back inside just as furiously, tromping on me, missing my nose this time, but upsetting the snake-in-a-can. I must commend the Maxwell House people for their snug lids, since the coffee can careens around the back of the Volvo wagon, bouncing from one side to the other, snake still inside, lid still snug as well. Snake-in-a-can. Wasn’t there a movie of this?
I’m concerned for the snake’s peace of mind and general well being, so it’s time for release. I stand stoically in the downpour, lay the can on the ground, pry off the lid, and one very dizzy snake decides to avoid the rain and remains within his nice shiny can, snug with the sound of rain on the roof. The snake is dry, the puppy is dry, and I am soaked.
On returning to the house, I decide to forgo coffee at this time. I’m enjoying a snake-free cup of tea instead. The rain has now stopped and the ‘shrooms are again sprouting.
Causes Mara Buck Supports
Kennebec Valley Humane Society, Amnesty International