Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Snake Named "Bob"

Yesterday I went outside to check the mail; flu-ridden Ariel came out with me to get fresh air. (It’s my firm belief that fresh air is good for a fever.) As we walked down the steps, we both saw movement in the flower beds from the corner of our eyes. “Please, no” is what I thought and adrenaline pumped through my body. But, despite my wish, it was a snake. Now as you may remember though I like snakes, I’ve had a few brushes with rattlesnakes. Once on a hike, I stepped on a big rattler. Thankfully, he had a big bite of chipmunk in his mouth or he’d have gotten a big bite of me. My second brush with a rattler was in my front yard. I was gardening and brushed a baby rattler with my gloved hand. Since he was as afraid of me as I was of him, we both survived. Actually, he died. Cal killed him with a shovel.

Instead of grabbing a shovel or trying to catch this snake like the kids and used to do with black racers, Ariel and I stood on the steps, trying to decide if this was poisonous. Is his head diamond-shaped? Do the marking look like a copperhead? The last question wasn’t really helpful because neither of us knows what a copperhead looks like. About this time, the mailman drove up. He called out, “What y’all doin’—lookin’ at snakes?”

I saw a great opportunity here, especially since my snake killer, Calvin, isn’t home. “Oh, yes, exactly,” I said. “Could you tell me if the snake’s poisonous?”

So, my mailman lumbered out of his mail truck, which is saying something because his rule is that if he has to get out of his truck to deliver your mail, you can wait to tomorrow. He examined the snake, from a safe distance. “That there’s a rat snake. It’s a good one. It eats bugs.” Personally, I think a snake longer than the size of my entire arm is probably living off of more than bugs—hence the name “rat snake.” But, since he did me a favor and identified the snake I kept my mouth shut.

I thanked him for his help and waved good-bye. When everyone else got home, I told them the snake story. And I explained that the snake lived under the front porch. Matt promptly named the snake “Bob.” So, now we have three hamsters, one bird, one dog, and a snake named Bob.


  1. Bob. That's a good name for a snake. Now that we know about Bob, we'll have to keep a really close rein on the hamsters. Oswald better not run away again if he knows whats good for him. I'm sure orange fur looks pretty yummy to a rat snake.

  2. Hohum. Is this the same mailman that Jezebel hates with a passion?

  3. I once listened to a song wherein the singer listed all his animals who were all named Bob. Is this coincidence or did Matthew here this too.

  4. No, Andrew, of course everybody knows that we have two mailmen :)

    Yes, it was the same mailman.

  5. Ah. Silly me. Wait... Why do you have TWO Mailmen? Hmm...

  6. We don't have two mailmen. That was sarcasm. It's a form of humor.

    And it was the same mailman because it was also the only mailman.