Several of you were expecting a snake. Let me repeat… I don’t do snakes! There are several reasons for my irrational fear of those slimy creatures.
When I was a little girl we spent a day at our cousins’ house digging worms for fishing. These weren’t just any cousins, though. Two of them were boys of the worst sort. You know what I mean – the kind who found great pleasure in taking an innocent little worm and chasing you around the yard with them. Yuck. Well, that night I dreamed that each and every one of those innocent little worms we had so carefully placed in old, rusty vegetable cans filled with dirt, turned into a snake. Not just any snake, but long, slimy black snakes. I was young enough to think that a big ol’ black snake must be the worst of the worst. Hey, I was just a little girl. What did I know? Anyway from that day forward, I have had a dreadful fear of snakes.
Now fast forward about 25 years. We had a big family get together here. My sis and her family were visiting from Arizona. One of the places set up for eating was a picnic table on the back porch. I had put a table cloth on the table to make it a bit nicer. After everyone went home, Jim and the kids helped me clean up. Somehow the tablecloth ended up on the porch floor and stayed there for who knows how long. When I finally got around to doing laundry, I scooped it up and threw it into the washer with a load of towels and then into the drier. How was I supposed to know that a snake had found shelter in it? Now I’m sure nobody else has ever done this, but I didn’t get to the dry clothes right away, so the next day I air fluffed the stuff before folding.
Now picture this. I pulled stuff out of the drier one at a time, snapped it to straighten it out, and folded it. About the third towel out, something flew across the room. A snake!!!!! A nice clean, washed and dried, shriveled up snake. OMG! I screamed and screamed and screamed. Jim came running. The kids came running. The neighbors cam running (they would have if we had neighbors…) Nobody could get me to stop screaming. I was truly hysterical. Finally Tessa yelled what has since become the family mantra anytime I get upset about anything. “Slap her dad, slap her!!” I’ll have to admit that brought me to my senses. But it took me years before I could hear the word snake and not shudder.
In my memory this snake was a long, shriveled up black snake. Jim claims it was a tiny, dried up green snake. I’m sure he remembers wrong in his hysteria and all. Right?