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?