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.