Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dangerous Visitor

Last night seemed to be just like any other night. Daddy came into the bedroom at bedtime and said "WHO NEEDS TO GO OUTSIDE?" He always says it like that. Scout always hops right up and runs to him and says "Me, Me, Me". I usually wait for Mama to say "Jack, it's time to go outside. Jack, get up and go outside." So, I went outside and did my business. I always get done before Scout because Scout is busy looking at the sky. She does that every night. To reach our backyard, you walk through our garage and enter the backyard through the back door. After I did my business, I ran into the garage and headed for bed when I sniffed the air and thought "what was that smell?". I ran back outside and start sniffing under the stone bench that sits by the garage. Daddy said "Jack, what are you doing? Jack, get away from there and go to bed." Fine, if that is the way he wants it. Mama asked me if I did my business. She asks that every night. Then Mama's cell phone rang, which was very odd. Mama answers and it was Daddy. He tells her to stay calm and to bring Scout's leash outside, but to do it quietly. She asked if Scout had gotten out of the yard which is basically impossible to do. Daddy said "No, there is a copperhead under the bench and he is scared to walk Scout past it without a leash." Copperheads are poisonous snakes! Mama stayed calm and brought Daddy the leash and walked Scout in the house. She made sure we were both safe in the house and then went back outside to help Daddy. Daddy doesn't normally kill snakes, but since this one is poisonous he felt he should. The snake ended up getting away by crawling under the fence. Mama and Daddy then went to the other side of the fence and searched for the snake with a flashlight. Mama was scared. They ended up finding him on the side of the house. Mama said it took quite a while, but they killed him.

Mama is now scared for us to go in the backyard, but she knows we have lived here 6 summers and this is the first time a copperhead has been seen. We have seen other snakes, but not poisonous ones. She has given us strict instructions on what to do if we find another one. I hope I can remember everything she has told us. She also made new rules: 1) no leaving the back garage door open as a snake could get in the garage 2) if we need to go out in the middle of the night, we have to put our leashes on. Scout has a tendency to wander behind the butterfly garden and sniff around in the wee hours of the morning and Mama is scared she might encounter a snake or some other wildlife.

Daddy attended a seminar at a campground recently and he learned that copperheads are not aggressive. That seemed to be the case with this one. He also learned that no one in Missouri has died from a bite. Mama felt better after learning that, but she said it would have been really bad if one of us had been bitten. We are watching our step now and being as careful as possible. Mama said I was very lucky last night not getting bit since I had my nose next to the snake. I say that without me, they would have walked right past him and never seen him. He's gone now and we hope he doesn't have any siblings slithering around. Ewwww!
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