…I like snakes best!

Don’t get me wrong here folks. I am a nature-loving man of kind heart, respectful spirit, and all-God’s-creatures compassion…except when it comes to snakes.

Realize, I don’t even do slinky, slimy reptiles at the zoo. I figure we’re both better off without my screaming like a little school girl at them on the other side of the glass.

I don’t know how I got this phobia, but it’s been with me for quite sometime. Maybe it was that time on a Boy Scout weekend campout when I decided to climb this big ol’ Cottonwood tree next to our campsite and along side the creek. I got to that first branch – at least 100′ in the air don’t you know – when I came face-to-face with a King snake coiled up like Kaa the Python from a classic movie of my youth.

Needless to say, I was on the ground pretty darn quick – haven’t been the same since.

Yesterday afternoon, after a particularly inspiring sermon at this morning’s church, did I decide to grill some groceries (a mess of peppers and tilapia) bought earlier in the week.

It should be known I grill with wood. I have a seasoned stack of oak in the back yard, plus an abundance of pine cones, pine needles, and shrub trimmings collected throughout the summer as my fire-starter and heat-keeper.

While managing the fire during the backyard campout cookout, I discovered the bottom on my wood stack was on the ground, rotting and wet. So I restacked the dozen of so pieces of wood still remaining from the summer stash. It was that last log that I grabbed to reveal a friend of the garden (yeah right…but not a friend of mine). He was at least as big around as my waist, and as long as I am tall…at least! Damn snakes! Why aren’t you in the zoo where I don’t have see you?

Yeah I admit I let out a little school girl scream. I grabbed the ax, grunted and hollered while swinging wildly at the ground, stopped…got the “shiver willies” and realized I pulled something in my back in the midst of my Paul Bunyon episode….

But I manage to “kindly” and “respectfully” chop one of “all-God’s-creatures” in half.

Sorry buddy! Somebody…please tell me that what I killed, in manly fashion I should add, was the most deadly specie of snake on the planet. It will make me feel better (but probably won’t help the bad dreams expected the next couple of nights).

Unfortunately, I think I my nemesis was a common rat snake, which means…if he’s around, I may have another problem to now contend with.

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