A facebook friend of mine had a status update yesterday that made me want to cry a little. No, she wasn't posting links to the Humane Society with all the sad puppy eyes, she had lived to tell about how a snake fell from above her onto the back of her neck. *shudder* It made me remember my own brave and heroic encounter with a rattlesnake....the one where I was all about saving myself by sacrificing the life of the person that I was with; the love of my life. I'm a romantic like that.
A crisp autumn day. All the aspens are quaking their vibrant gold leaves and the once green grass is turning that kissed-by-the-sun golden color. The sky is bright blue, the pines are tall and proud and we are going for a hike, by golly. We loaded up black dog (the only one we had at the time) and drove to one of our local natural areas to enjoy the beauty of God's creation.
We had two choices: valley or mountain. The valley is a meandering trail through a vast meadow, full of the golden native grasses and some scrub brush. The mountain climbed through rocks and sparse wildflowers with the ponderosa pines shadowing the ground, not allowing much grass to grow. My ever gracious lover (we were living in sin at this point) left the choice up to me. I make my choice for the obvious reason- being which path would logically have less chance of a dreaded snake encounter. I fear snakes. I loathe snakes. I lose muscle control, go all rubbery and always make the "hhhbbbbgiiiiibbbity" noise while my body parts are twitching like a horse trying to rid himself of 100 flies. It doesn't take any special snake to evoke this reaction- just your run of the mill gardener snake. Even if it is only 5 inches long. Would that be a baby snake? Baby snakes!?!?!!! Oh God! That is even creepier! That is just fucking WRONG!!!! Anyway, I decide that the mountain will have less chance of harboring Nazi snakes so, hi ho hi ho, up the hill we go.
I am hiking first because I am a natural born leader. No, I was first because I of course am high maintenance and hiking in the back makes me dizzy and tire more quickly. We have gone about 30 minutes up, at least a mile or two. We are headed into a sweet little clearing where the path curves through a little mountainside meadow flocked with wildflowers. I am looking up hill, admiring the beauty when I hear "ttthdhthhdthhthhdththhdththht".
FUCKING RATTLESNAKE AHEAD!!!
There he was, in the middle of the trail, coiled up and ringing his creepy little warning bells. So, what do I do? I go into pure "survival" mode, which apparently meant pulling out my high school sprinting ability and high tailing it the other direction. Not before I grabbed my man by the shirt and THREW him out of my way- which happened to be at the direction of the slithery beast. Fortunately, he recovered from his stumble and calmly turned around and followed me as I leaped like a crack addicted mountain goat fleeing a deadly encounter with a a grizzly bear back down the trail to our vehicle. Hike over.
Given the fact that we were a good 25 ft away, I guess he felt no need to panic. Whatever. I know that evil creatures have magical abilities, like flying at your head and long-distance venom spitting and trance-inducing force fields where they lure you in and then cram you into their tiny wicker baskets where they leave you to rot so that you are more easily digestible.... It's all true, I read it on the Internet.....
Well I was not ready to die that day! From then on, I started hiking in full body armor with a dart gun and a two foot long machete. Actually, I birthed a couple of carpet monkeys and I rarely get exercise so it doesn't seem to be that much of an issue anymore. When I do go out, I take my attack cat on a leash, because that little kitteh is a Ninja in a hairless cat suit.
Peace, Love and Unicorns,
Johi, The Snake Hater