The Shepherd and the Assassin!

When commiserating with Gluestick Mum over the foibles of husbands who never seem to complete a job 100%, she suggested I break precedent (writing only to club prompts) and write up my saga of the weekend. As I swirled this idea around in my head, I thought well, actually, I’m only responding to another prompt given to me outside the club so it won’t affect the aim of the blog. So I’m taking on her challenge.

Having just moved to this area, we aren’t very aware of the absolute nightmare of wildlife that exists down here. Living near to the Bay, I’ve been overwhelmed to find that it isn’t all fish, crabs, and oysters. As we’ve come out of the longest winter in the history of this earth, we’ve gone into our first spring down here.  Thus has begun the onslaught of creatures not happily confined to the water.

I’ll start with the bees. The bees here are HUGE. I am not a fan of bees of any size, but these bees are carpenter bees over an inch long, with shiny black bellies, and as obese as they come. They come looking for wood to bore into and nest. As our property is completely surrounded in a high wood fence we are a prime target it seems. We aren’t helped by the fact that my neighbor has an overhang on her back porch made from wood trusses and evidently this is great food because the bees are over there by the hundreds swarming all the time while they look for new places to bore. When they get bored (excuse very bad pun there) boring her boards, they venture over into our space.

My son has grown up with my bee paranoia and though he’s now a teen it hasn’t abated. When we are outside and the bees show up you can hear us both screaming like girls (okay for me, but alas, not so impressive in a teen boy) running back into the house where it’s safe. (I say running but at this point my run is now more a determined gallop but it still gets me where I’m going which is away from those bees!) My husband has always been very understanding about my paranoia and goes to great lengths to do obliterate any of these giant bees that show up in our space. You can see him out there standing watch over me tennis racket in hand and batting them down as they dare to invade. He’s a modern day knight in shining armour, but instead of a lance and armour, it’s a tennis racket and work clothes covered in paint.

This weekend things took a turn for the worse. I was walking the yard with our small dog as he sniffed out his perfect spot for the deed when what to my wandering eyes should appear but A SNAKE! Let it just be said here that snakes rank even higher than bees on my list of paranoias. As a matter of fact, snakes are right above bees and just below sharks which are just below alligators! (You’ve probably guessed I am not an outdoorsy girl by now).

Anyway, upon seeing this snake there baking in the sun, I grabbed up our little 10-pound dog (frustrated as I’m sure he was not yet having found the perfect place) and ran (okay, performed my determined gallop) screaming into the house, “THERE’S A SNAKE, THERE’S A SNAKE! OH, GOD HELP ME, THERE’S A SNAKE!” Straight to my knight I went and tried to calm down and maintain a bit of decorum. I started by telling him there was a snake that needed to be killed. I followed up logically with factual insights. “It could perhaps eat our small dog,” or worse, “Our colourblind son might stumble upon it never even seeing it.” My knight took off for the garage with a nod of his head and a determined gait. He returned not with his tennis racket, but instead with a shovel, hoe, and rake! I felt good to see so many great weapons of war!

As I watched him from the safety of our back door, though, I was surprised to see him approach this great beast with the rake? As the rake approached, the snake took off across the yard and then stopped. Husband then approached him with the rake again and the snake took off. This progress lasted until husband basically shepherded said snake to the other side of the yard and watched him disappear under the fence. He came in happy to report that the snake was gone. I said, but did you kill it? “No,” he reported, “I didn’t have to kill it. It’s gone.” I didn’t want it under the fence. It might come back. Told him if I wanted a shepherd I would’ve called the biblical David. What I wanted was an assassin! Told him this was no good. If the snake could go under the fence once to escape he could come back under again and now none of us were safe. He wasn’t too pleased with my lack of adulation for his efforts.

After about 20 minutes of haranguing him over his lack of murderous intent, he finally admitted that he was concerned with the prospect of what would happen after he killed it. His concern was that the leftover bits, now very separated and gory would have to be removed and who, he asked would do this? Well, he had me there. I couldn’t volunteer and our son was no help either. As nowhere in our marriage vows did I think to include the promise to remove gory snake bits, I guess I’ll have to be content with the shepherd.

Perhaps I should tell the Gluestick Mum to be happy with her 90 percent because for sure when it comes to snakes around here I only get the leftover 10 percent. Grief.


44 thoughts on “The Shepherd and the Assassin!

  1. Oh, I’m so glad you took up my challenge. Not so impressed by how your husband took up his though!!! No, shepherding is NOT good enough. I’d not be happy until a) the snake was very much dead and b) all possible future entry points were blocked with a concrete fortress with early snake-detection (and elimination) unit. I’m sure those things are easily available in your area, right?!!!


  2. This post is hilarious! I love the part about you and your son screaming like girls. My husband would have done the same thing…all talk, no action. Soooo frustrating! 🙂


  3. Ha. Glad I found your blog. Gigantic bees and snakes sounds like a change of scene from Pittsburgh! I sympathize with your husband, though. Let the snake live in peace out of peoples’ view. I agree with you though about being creeped out by them.


    • Thanks for the comment and the follow. Am glad you stopped by! And yes, this area is DEFINITELY a very big change! Would be happy to let snake live peacefully as long as he stays out of our view! 🙂


  4. Sasha says:

    Oh my, this is HILARIOUS!! Bees and snakes are the worst and I hope very much the run ins will slow down for you! Your screaming son was perhaps my favorite visual. 🙂


    • Oh, thank you for such a nice comment! I will have to tell my son he is now internet sensation…..lots of people seemed to enjoy that little tidbit, but have to say, it’s actually better in person! I keep imagining a bee showing up when he’s trying to impress one of his many girls ….it’ll happen…I’m just waiting for it!


  5. I’m glad you popped by my blog, ‘cos I’m having fun reading yours 🙂 PF (my biologist hubby) would have a field day at your place – he’d help you to get over the fear and discover the fascination of bees and snakes.
    I was waiting with baited breath for the end of the story. Please tell your knight in shining armour that I congratulate him – don’t kill snakes, they are scared of you too, and if they will leave of their own accord without hurting anyone. You don’t say how big the snake was, but it would have to be huge to swallow even a cat. How do I know? PF studied snakes for ten years, and his biggest one, Medusa, was 4.5 meters long and had problems swallowing a rabbit. We have four snakes at home.


    • I knew when I posted this that I’d get some feedback from people on the side of the snake but fear not, I was only employing some sarcasm when I spoke of my fear about the snake eating the dog, etc. I do know that the dog cannot be eaten by this snake. Would definitely like to get over my irrational fears of bees and snakes…perhaps I should sign up for classes with your hubby, huh? And please don’t worry, I have no intention of getting near enough to a snake to ever kill one, I’m sure I can say the same for my teen son here, and husband, as you know, is a shepherd. So all snakes around here perfectly safe! But I do thank you for stopping by to read and am glad you’re enjoying the blog.


  6. Ha! L0L! I hate bugs! I remember my first experience with bugs in E. Texas. My girlfriend and I had gone camping for the weekend. We were sitting around the campfire just enjoying a beautiful day when I saw a long beige colored stick with legs move in the ground. It was a “stick bug”!! I had never heard of or seen one in my life. It was an introduction to the wonderful world of bugs in E. Texas. My next encounter would be with a water bug! OMG! You can put saddles on them!


  7. OH GOD HELP ME, THERES A SNAKE!!! I love it. We have garter snakes in the yard, but they don’t bother me. They eat the spiders, who DO BOTHER ME. THEY BOTHER ME A LOT. THEY SHOULD ALL DIE. AND THEIR FAMILIES.


  8. We have some dangerous critters in this part of the world but thank goodness, no gigantic bees! Just some of the most venomous snakes and spiders (which I am terrified of) but frankly, giant buzzing bees that eat wood sound like something out of horror novel!


    • Ah, at last! A girl after my own heart! See there? I knew I wasn’t the only one that understood bees this size are the stuff nightmares are made of! Though will admit, there was another comment where someone said she had bugs in her part of the world that could be SADDLED! OMG>


  9. Our family is beephobic as well- the husband is allergic, so at the first sign of bee, we all run around like crazy people looking for anywhere indoors. Next time it happens I think I’m taking out the phone to record it.


  10. OMG…what a laugh a minute! I’m so glad you directed me to this post. It’s absolutely hilarious. You didn’t say how long the snake was, or if it was a King Snake, or maybe even a Rattle Snake. We had a snake appear in our dining room one evening. It must have got under the front door. It was only a thin Rat Snake and not venomous, so we ( i.e.hubby) put it outside again. I believe they keep the ecosystem in good balance, and eat other nasties, which is always a good thing. 🙂


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