December 24, 2007

How are you spending your Christmas Eve?

Soccer, trying to look like a present under the tree
Merry Christmas Eve!
We are just hanging out today. Whatever I didn't buy we will have to go without. It's cold outside and it seems like a nice day for staying home and baking with the kids. That's right. I'm actually considering letting them help. I don't have much in the way of patience when it comes to my kids and the kitchen. First of all, my kitchen is just too small. Secondly, when I want to cook or bake, I just want it to get done. Kids have a way of slowing down the process.
Our next-door neighbors are using today to clean out their garage as a family. They just acquired a storage unit that they are keeping on the side of their property and want to make room in their garage for other things. In the midst of all their stuff was a California King Snake. They are really great to have around because they actually help reduce the rattlesnake population! They are even immune to the venom of a rattlesnake and can like to eat them. So cool!
Gee, what would make you think I like reptiles???
Sooooo...they call me when they find this thing. I seem to have the reputation for liking the 'creepy and crawly' things amongst the neighbors! GO FIGURE!!! They have already gotten it out of the garage and have him in the driveway by the time I get over there. He's not really moving much. He can't. It's too cold for him to be out and he should be hibernating right now! That's probably what he was trying to do in their garage! So, they have a five-gallon fish tank and screen cover. I put the snake in the tank and take it home. As cold as he was, he would be going at a snail's pace to get across the driveway, much less anyplace he could safely stick out the rest of the winter!
So, I bring the tank into my house and pile lots of phone books and things on top. As soon as that little guy warms up, he's going to try to push the lid off that tank. It's his nature. The girls don't even notice him right away, even though I talk about him openly and call a couple of people about the best place to let him go. I do not intend to keep him. Personally, I love snakes. I think they make great pets, if you don't look for a pet to respond to you like a cat or a dog would. They don't make noise, you don't have to feed them every day, and they don't smell that bad. I mean, they can smell bad...but it's more like large bird poop or something! David, however, does not like snakes. I don't think he likes any reptiles at all, as a matter of fact! Besides, it's actually illegal in the state of California to keep a California King Snake as a pet. Of course there are always exceptions or loop holes, but California ultimately doesn't want anything that naturally lives here to be kept as a pet. California has some of the stingiest laws around when it comes to pets!
So, I let the little guy warm up a little-just enough for him to be able to move. I then decide that there is a woodpile on the back of our property that would be perfect for him. I would take the tank in my car and drive him to the back of the property. We used to have an old pole barn back there that David tore down. Most of its remains are now just a big pile that would make the perfect little home for my new little friend. At about the same time I was going to take the snake out, the girls discovered it. 11YO (who used to hold the four foot ball python we had all the time) is suddenly scared of snakes now. 4YO burst into tears as if it were coming at her. 1YO just started yelling, "SNAKE!!! SNAKE!!!" because her sisters were yelling that. She was even giggling in between acting horrified because she was so happy to be a part of 'the game' her sisters were playing. She had no clue.
As soon as he started to move a little more, I took him out back and put the tank up on its side. He happily slithered out of the tank and under the wood pile. I think he should be able to find a nice, safe spot under there to finish out his winter. Maybe he'll even want to pay us a visit when the weather warms up again.
Then again, he'll probably end up at my neighbors's house once again. They get all the cool critters there!


SJSFalter+ said...

I cant help but laugh at the girls, I would have been with the girls. Snakes scare me crazy along with pretty much any and all rodents. You are a very brave soul! Great, great story.

Merry Christmas, I hope it is a very joyous and memorable one.

Mrs. Flinger said...

Merry Christmas!! Muwha to my friend who is inspiring me to change to a better version of me. And that's a pretty great present. :-)

wildtomato said...

How may other moms out there look forward to snakes! I HATE THEM! There's something about moving around with no limbs that creeps me out.

Tag, you're it! See my last blog entry for details...

Anonymous said...

You know, when you tell jaw dropping stories like this one it just reinforces the fact that Maggie and I are NEVER coming for a visit!

**Giggles and shudders to think of it**


REENblack said...

I try to be ok with rodents and slithering things, but I just don't like them!!! I would have been screaming with the girls too!! :-) Glad there was someone there to protect him so he didn't get treated badly!!!

Hope you had a great Christmas!!!