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— I had to call the Fish and Game Dept. this morning to inquire as to the bag limit of snakes. I have screamed like a girl and killed four since daylight yesterday. Sure don’t like the squiggly things and they are so dang plentiful that I am almost too boogered to go out to the barn. I fear one, big or small, might drop down out of the rafters and, landing on me or not, could bring on untimely death. I’d hope for him, not me.

My close relative is raking and hauling leaves out of the yard at a fast thoroughbred clip. She intends to get it all done soon and she will. Now she is wanting some help and she informed me that the male offspring are both busy and what the heck did I have to do that was so important that I couldn’t help with a little yard chores?

What in this world is a man supposed to do when faced with admitting his fear or just swallowing it? John Wayne said to just saddle up anyway, so I pulled on my leather gloves and came around the corner with the second wheelbarrow. She looked up and smiled so I figured this is gonna make for a real nice meal. I had sorta forgotten about the other end of the business and I was walking pretty tall, doing the manly thing.

My assigned job was to load and haul the leaves and dead stems she had raked into piles. Not much work involved in that chore and I was catching up to her pretty fast. She smiled every time she looked at me and the sky was blue. I had hopes of a glorious feast of beef, beans, biscuits and pie when this was all over. I was certain by now thatI’d done the right thing and she was gonna get the yard work done to her specifications. All was well!

Then, just like in Alfred Hitchcock movies, the fear started in the back of my neck by raising the hair all along my neck and clear down to my toes. The leaves in my wheelbarrow started wiggling, not a lot at first, just a little. I was horror struck, I guess, because I just stood there and stared. Then I saw the top of a head and, absolutely sure it was attached to the biggest dang snake in the state, I watched as a big eye appeared and was glaring at me! I grabbed the shovel and started whacking. She said I screamed first and about the third whack turned the thing over. Then I saw what turned out not to be a snake, only a field rat. But this one won’t get any of my feed. I sent him to the happy hunting grounds for rats.

Now I was spooked and we had several more piles to go. I plunged in with all I had to get the job done but I shook in my boots. She was sorta snickering, I was not and we were both in a hurry to finish now.

It is my opinion, and everyone has one, why can’t the fellers who decide what constitutes emergencies put in a little extra time and find out when the snakes are most active? I am not the only person who would appreciate the information and that could possibly save some lives. No, not death by fear, but death by venom. And I am not the only one scared witless by the reptiles. Just don’t tell everyone and pray that by supper time my stomach will be settled!

Opinion, Pages 4 on 10/28/2009

Print Headline: OPINION? Everybody Has One!!

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