In which I save my hunney’s life and limbs

Well, maybe it wasn’t all that dramatic.  I’ll let you be the judge.

Last night, Perry went to bed ahead of me.  When I came to the room, it was dark and the baby was sound asleep in his playpen.  Perry was still awake and rolled over to make room for me.  I undressed in the dark, and just as I crawled into bed he raised his arm in my direction.

“Knock that daddy longleg off my arm.”

His arm was a dark shadow in a dark room.  I could just barely see something on the back of his elbow.  It didn’t seem like a daddy longleg shape.  My brain was moving in slow motion, my sense of alarm rising slowly like the ocean’s tide.

“That doesn’t look like -” …SMACK! I slapped his arm in sudden panic and jumped backward off the bed.

“I think that was a scorpion!”

He looked skeptical when I flipped on the light a millisecond later, but he was already off the bed.  I’m not sure how he moved so quickly, but clearly he wasn’t taking any chances.

A daddy longleg scuttled across the floor, and we looked at each other.  “Are we satisfied with that?” I asked.

There was no answer.  He shrugged and went to the bathroom while I stood staring at the bed, unsure of what to do next.  Lydia just reminded me that he also left me alone in the room 12 years ago with a bat under similar circumstances, except that I was actively chasing the brute around the room.  Apparently we have a pattern here.  I probably shouldn’t expect him to help me with a copperhead if we ever find one in our bedroom, like my parents did a few years back.

As he left the room, I saw this:

scorpion tail under my PILLOW

Yes, I reconstructed the scene for you.  Just go with it, ok?  Feel my horror.  Let’s try again.  Then I saw THIS!

SCORPION UNDER MY PILLOW, PEOPLE!!!

And I grabbed this

and this

and did this

to this

scorpion-front-view 

scorpion-face 

scorpion-and-quarterA full-sized nightmare neatly wrapped up in a 3-inch package.  Horrible?  Yes.  Did I sleep last night?  Yes.  Perry laughed because I was in the fetal position, but I always sleep that way.  My sleep position had nothing to do with this:

scorpion-stinger

scorpion-stinger-close up

or this:

scorpion-claw

In our part of Texas, scorpions are like spiders.  If you don’t spray poison in, on and around your home, you will have one every now and then.  We’ve been blessed to have very few in our home in spite of the fact that we don’t spray.  They’re not dangerous – the sting is just a little worse than a bee sting.  But they’re terrifying to behold, and I NEVER EVER WANT TO SEE ONE IN MY BED AGAIN.

Snake update

Texas Rat Snakes are nonvenomous but very aggressive. At nearly 4 feet long, this guy was big enough to do real damage to little feet and legs, yet just small enough to find several convenient ways into our unfinished house in search of fragrant gerbils, so we decided to knock him off the side of the house and kill him.

First I hit him several times with a slingshot but only succeeded in making him MAD. Did you know that Texas Rat Snakes buzz their tails exactly like a rattlesnake when they are angry? He was very angry. But he was still 20 feet off the ground, firmly wrapped around the birdnest in our gable. Yes, we could hear his temper from that distance, loud and clear. We don’t generally kill snakes, but he wasn’t helping his case at all.

I ran in the house for a potty break and to put on my boots, then headed back out. The 2 little ones stayed behind, but the general run for boots that followed really got their curiosity up.  (Incidentally, it was all I could do to force my calves down into those boots.  Apparently my feet and belly aren’t the only things that are swelling with this pregnancy.  Getting the boots off just a few minutes later was almost a post in itself.)

The slingshot just wasn’t bringing him down so the girls found plumbing parts to link two 10-foot pieces of pvc pipe; this proved just right to reach the nest from the ground. They were a bunch of chickens so they all stood back – far back – and the Pregnant Lady raised the pipe to the nest. Just as I was about to do the deed, The Boy appeared not 6 feet away from the projected landing point! He was wearing his sisters’ boots and a diaper, and ready to join the ruckus. “I got my shoes, guys. Shoes!”

Short pause here. Relocate The Boy to a safe place. Resume horror story.

Since the nest was empty, I knocked it down to dislodge the snake. It was the only way to get him down, and I really didn’t want him wandering into the house when he was done digesting. We all screamed appropriately and stared in horror while he gathered his bearings. Then I had somebody hand me the prepared shovel and I chased him under the house, where I pinned him firmly in place.

More screaming.

After a few phone calls and some hesitation, we snuffed him. We’re not mindless snake murderers – really, we’re not. But we had several reasons to finish him off, and the decision was made.

After that, like true homeschoolers, there was only one thing left to do. You know what I mean, don’t you? Well, don’t you? Really, do I have to say it? Because I didn’t hang around to watch this part. You’ll have to hear it from somebody else. What would your children have done in the name of education? And who says homeschoolers can’t participate in science and lab classes?