A Snake Story

As we approach the coldest months of the year, there’s just nothing like a warm and inviting fire in the hearth.

If you’re one of those lucky individuals who merely has to flip a switch to enjoy the cozy ambiance of a fire, well I’m jealous of you. Some of us are still walking uphill barefoot in the snow to chop our own wood…or to the garage where I set some firewood inside the night before. Same difference.

It was on a cold and blustery night last week, that my teenage daughter and I decided it would be just perfect if we enjoyed our cinematic Hallmark masterpiece in front of a crackling fire.

Me being the master delegator that I am, sent her to the garage to procure the aforementioned firewood.

Teenagers, sheesh!

You would think that she had to walk uphill barefoot in the snow to chop it herself, what with the wailing and gnashing of teeth that ensued over performing this simple task.

C’mon kid!

After an exchange of words, with me being the winner because I’m the parent…or rather, I threatened relinquishing of the cell phone, she begrudgingly tromped to the garage to collect our firewood, meanwhile I’m grinning like the grinch under my heated blanket because I won a battle and if you’ve got teenagers then, well, you get it.

While I’m busy grinning and reveling in my victory, I suddenly hear a cacophony of shrieks, bangs and the dull thud of a body hitting the side of my SUV.

Hmm…that’s not normal. I put my grin away and go to investigate.

But as I’m walking across the living room, I’m full body slammed by a blur of red hair and skinny limbs.

My daughter skidded to a sudden halt in her fluffy socks, but not before she darned near gave me a bloody nose.

“What in the world?!” I exclaim, I am irritated and my nose hurts. She’s wiggling, gagging and wiping her hands vigorously on her Christmas jammies as she replies, “I thought it was just a big worm, but then it poked its head up and stuck its tongue out at me!” uhm…huh?

I stare at her blankly and she says “Go look! It’s there where I threw it!”

So together we head to the scene of the incident, her trailing hesitantly behind me and ready to bolt at any moment.

On the garage floor, was the large piece of firewood that I’m guessing she must have thrown on the floor before turning around to run, but instead ran smack into the side of the car. Ah, the dull thud, I think to myself.

No dents though, so that’s good.

I’m still not following, I look to her for explanation but she’s too busy jogging in place and shaking her hands and basically being a drama queen if you ask me.

So I get closer to see what in the heck she’s carrying on about. I bend down and peer closely into a large crack in the piece of wood, when at that precise moment, a very friendly black snake pokes out of the crack. He looks at me, I look at him…and then there’s another dull thud on the side of my car but this time it’s my body making contact and now there actually might be a dent.

Suffice it to say, we didn’t have a fire that night. We opted for scented candles instead, and ole snaky? Well, he lived to slither another day. So consider this a valuable lesson learned by yours truly; always check your firewood before bringing it inside and always send your kids out to grab it first.