Plan B

This morning’s adventure. Snake in the backyard. Somewhere between 2 and 10 feet long. I’m pretty sure it was a Black Mamba. Or maybe a Black Racer. I don’t know. It happened so fast.

I let the dog out this morning to do that thing she does. She’s in the middle of doing that thing she does when she sees the snake and suddenly bark/yelps and runs away. (That’s my dog.) I look up and see the slithering creature for a split second and then it takes off… into the shed! Great. Of all places. It’s full of stuff and more importantly, that’s where the weapons are.

When I was a kid, these situations were taken care of with a hoe. Big ugly snake comes around and someone shows up with a hoe to remove the business end of the snake from the rest of its body. End of threat. I need to get in there and get my hoe.

I poke my head in and look around. No visual on the serpent. So I ease into the shed and step over the lawnmower and beach gear and bikes, watching every foot placement as I creep to the back of the shed where hoe type things are kept. I make it safely. And then, it dawns on me… I don’t own a hoe. Don’t judge me.

But I’m already deep in the snake den so I pick up a plastic tube thingy that’s leaning in the corner and I start poking around. Julie is out in the yard at a safe distance but can see what I’m doing.

“What are you doing?” she asks. Less than lovingly than you would expect from a wife whose husband is taking charge of a dangerous situation.

“Trying to find it.” I say.

“Then what?” she says. Then (and I’m not making this up) she adds… “What’s the plan Phil?”

My wife is a funny lady. And she’s right. I need a plan. So I put down the plastic tube thingy and come inside to formulate a plan. Here’s what I’ve come up with.

Step 1: Eat breakfast. I can’t think on an empty stomach.

Step 2: Rationalize. The snake is more than likely harmless. The little guy is probably taking care of bugs and mice for me, so just let him be. Do nothing. Not because I’m scared to death of snakes mind you. But because I believe all creatures are here for a reason and should be treated with dignity and respect. No seriously, that’s the reason.

Step 3: Drive to Home Depot and buy a hoe. Just in case I’m wrong about Step 2.

Brian L Butler