Thursday, October 29, 2009

Snake Charmer

It was about ten at night when my mother came through the front door to our dark little house. I was five, my sister three, and we were sleepily stumbling behind her as she carried my brother, nine months old. My Dad was at work, the graveyard shift. Anyways, we were used to it. Mom was not a scaredy cat about being alone at night with just us kids. She was a real trooper, except when it came to SNAKES. To this day the woman will flip smooth the fuck out at the sight of any snake, even a teeny tiny green garden snake or a big earth worm. Mom will start screaming while hyperventilating while clumsily retreating when she sees a snake. I mean screaming like a mad woman with a crazy, psycho, contorted expression on her face while drunkenly running for her life. I have always been worried she would have a heart attack or stroke and fall over dead during one of these snake fits. Its painful and scary to witness and if snakes don’t scare you, her fits sure will.

But we were kind of used to these fits too because the house we lived in was old and had lots of places snakes could come in through. This happened a lot. However, snakes really should have been the least of their worries as the house was clad in awesome asbestos siding! Anyways, a few months before my mom had found a snake skin under my brothers crib, left behind by a fairly large molting snake. I’m really surprised she did not insist we move then, but she soldiered on a little longer.

Until that fateful night Mom flipped on the dining/living room light and spotted the snake under the china cabinet. And the fit commenced. She shoved the three of us to the other side of the room and ran to the kitchen where she grabbed the fully loaded knife block. She came exploding back into the dining area and started hurling knives at the snake like some crazy ass carnival act. The snake was coiled up and probably scared shitless. Not once did she hit it with about fifteen knives. So then, screaming the whole time, she grabbed the .22 rifle out of the corner where it stood with other loaded guns. (Hey, I’m from East Texas, need I say more?) Mom proceeded to unload the gun, probably 9 bullets, at the snake under the china cabinet. Finally it was dead. She left it where it lay and shaking like a leaf she scooped us up and hustled us out the door and back to grandma’s where we stayed til we found a new place to live, sans snakes.

The china and the cabinet were not harmed. In fact, I have the cabinet in my bedroom now, with my loaded 410 shot gun leaned up against it. Just in case. I learned from my momma about knife chunkin’, gun shootin’, and snake killin’!

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