Saturday, May 30, 2009

“Call in the Cavalry” by Tammi; 29 May 2009

Is something lurking…?

Since my class schedule and lesson plans had been all shot to shit, (another story in and of itself), I decided to do something semi-productive. I was planning to go out to buy bread. There were a few clouds in the sky keeping the sun at bay enough to make the mid-day temperature bearable for the short bike ride. So I mustered up the energy and went to the shed for my bicycle.

I unfastened the padlock, and swung open the door. As I took a few steps toward where my bike was leaning, my eyes adjusting to the dim light, and something in my peripheral vision caught my attention. I knew right away it was not one of the lizards that commonly share our quarters, but something else. The figure tried to conceal itself on the far side of an old bag of cement, but its slate colored tail was still visible sticking out from behind. More curious than alarmed, I drew closer. Not only did I wish to identify this mystery creature, but it had positioned itself between me and the bike which I intended to ride. Cautiously, I took hold of a handlebar and jiggled the bike a little bit. This proved to be enough provocation for the snake to stand up and take notice. Based on the color, I was not sure what type of snake I might be looking at. But when it raised its head and spread its hood, I quickly confirmed it was a cobra. “Wow, a cobra”, I thought. “Are those stripes on its neck”? Leaning a bit closer, I confirmed that those were fine markings indeed. But when the snake responded by spitting a warning shot of venom at me (and it traveled at least as far as he was long), I decided that this little snake with a big attitude should not be toyed with. I stepped back, rattled the garage door a little bit and looked on from a safe distance as the snake slithered away to the back of the shed where it could find a nice hiding place behind all the stuff.

Ok, so I will admit now that it was only a foot long. But after the way it acted toward me I had to consider it less than friendly. (And whether it comes from a big or little cobra, a venom filled bite could cause the recipient a fair amount of physical discomfort to say the least). Chris was over at school, so before I pedaled off on my errand I sent a text message warning him of our new occupant. I did not want him or one of the visiting small boys to reach into a box of tools and come out with fang marks.

When I returned home about 30 minutes later there were seven cutlass-carrying men, including my husband, huddled around the garage. “Ut oh”, I thought. “I hope I did not come off as the damsel in distress”. As it turns out, this was not the case. “Ashanti’s fear snakes paah” the men exclaimed, which is apparently why they sent in the cavalry! As the men took turns clearing away the jumble of shed contents in search of the 12 inch threat, one man found entertainment in sneaking up behind the other and pinching the back of his leg. This made for a most animated response, or course. (The man doing most of the teasing was the one who jumped the highest when someone snuck up on him). In the end, the cobra hunters completed their mission and the snake was “removed”. Now if something can be done about those scorpions that keep showing up in Chris’s art office at school…