Sunday, April 3, 2011

Snakes on a Plain

It's official, I'm packing up my cow, my new girl llama, and maybe a chicken or two and I'm moving, moving to town.  I can't take it anymore.  Just when I got this farm girl stuff down it became glaringly evident that I indeed do not.
Let me set the stage for you, it was a gorgeous spring Saturday, temps were in the high 60's, which in our house is basically flip flop weather and just a few degrees away from Ryder asking if he can go swimming.  GI Joe had drill so it was just the kids and I, alone on the prairie.  I decided it was a good day to do some barnyard cleanup because somehow it just becomes a mess over the winter.  You know old pizza boxes, empty pop cans, dirty clothes everywhere, those animals are just like teenagers.  So I commissioned my dear children that their official duty as farm kids was to help their mama.  After getting home from Blade's very intense soccer game which they won and Blade played amazingly, but he also suffered a major, possible career ending minor injury (a kick in the knee cap while playing goalie) and I refrained from running onto the field in a panic and screaming, "MY BABY, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MY BABY?"  Instead I cooly walked over to him once he got off the field and his coach assured me he was ok and that after resting up a bit he'd be able to go back in, I offered to kiss it for him and Blade quickly dismissed me back to my seat.  Also my friend Heather V. whose daughter is also on Blade's team and I may or may not have done some high kicks, just sayin'.  Soccer is definitely more fun with friends.
Huh how's that for a side tangent.
ANYWAY, once we got home we changed into our "farm work clothes" which for Ryder was his soccer uniform and cowboy boots (he's a regular fashionista obviously) and got to work.  Work which was kinda difficult when you have a 400 pound calf who thinks he's a dog all up in your business.  There were some shingles and pieces of wood from an old building that had somehow gotten scattered around the barnyard but those terrified me.  Why?  Because about 3 years ago when I picked up something that was flat to the ground, A SNAKE SLITHERED OUT FROM UNDER ONE OF THEM.  And then I screamed and ran and died and had nightmares for days.  So these days when there's a larger object flat to the ground like that, I kick it with my foot first to flip it over or better yet I make my kids pick it up for me. That plan worked seamlessly and we got the entire barnyard cleaned up with zero snake sightings.  However, the boys were lifting up a big watering tank to move and a MOUSE ran out from underneath of it and that was nearly as traumatic.  The only saving grace was that it was  a mouse which is not quite as disgusting as a snake, close but not quite, AND that I was standing a ways from them. I did see it and I did scream LOUDLY. My screams apparently freaked the mouse out because it took off running into the HIllbilly Hotel (we name our outbuildings doesn't everyone?) and my boys being boys had to chase it and try to catch it.  Meanwhile, I was screaming threats of lifelong groundings and living life without the use of their beloved Wii and DS's.  Thankfully, they couldn't find it and I could breathe a sigh of relief because snakes eat mice and obviously if there was a mouse in the barnyard there were no snakes, right?  Right.  Then we moved our cleanup efforts to the pasture right below the barnyard, the one the llamas and horses frequent.  THIS was the same area that the snake sighting of '07 took place, so an area I tend to avoid.  But I had my big, strong, scared of nothing kids to protect me so I braved the elements and began cleaning it up.  There is a creek that runs at the bottom of this area and we were down there cleaning up when we heard a rustle.  Then we saw something run really fast across the creek and into the woods behind it.  The kids were still trying to figure out what it was they'd seen, was it a chicken, a fox, a coyote, what?  I was standing about 20 feet from them when I heard a rustle in the brush and grass by my feet.  I thought it was probably a chicken or a squirrel or something harmless like that.  But then I looked down and, oh my heart is pounding just typing this, THERE WAS A SNAKE.  I LOST MY MIND AND BEGAN SCREAMING AND RUNNING FAR FAR AWAY (you may begin to notice a theme here).  I just got the heebie jeebies just thinking about it.  I could not stop screaming and by the time I stopped running I was 2 counties over* and people, I am not a runner. 
*sometimes I may exaggerate for emphasis but I can assure you I ran so far the snake couldn't find me.  Also, it was a far enough run to justify the Cadbury Egg I consumed later in the day.
At first the kids were looking at me in horror thinking something terrible had just happened ie:  I'd discovered a dead body.  But then I think I was able to scream SNAKE in with my otherwise random screams of terror and they immediately ran over to where I had been standing and STARTING LOOKING FOR THE SNAKE.  Yes, they probably would've killed it once they found it but not before they chased me around 40 acres with it.  THANK YOU LORD, that they did not find it.  Then they concentrated their efforts on laughing at their poor, defenseless mama.  Heartless, they are. 
Once I checked my baggage and caught a flight back home from where I ran to, I decided we needed a break and a tall drink of water so we went in the house.  They were watching some TV and I sat down at the computer to check out the Facebook.  I was sitting there relaxing reading about the various going ons that my facebook friends had posted, surprisingly none of them involved running from a snake, when all of a sudden I felt a crawling sensation on my lower back heading towards my booty.  You know how sometimes you just get the creepy crawlies and it's nothing?  Umm this was not one of those times.  I brushed my back with my hand and A BUG FLEW OFF AND I SCREAMED.
And that's it.  I'm staying inside my nice new condo* in town with my cow for the rest of the summer.  The End.

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