It was about 5:30 Wednesday evening. I had been sitting in my desk chair all day, catching up on work and eating jello,
and was looking forward to a nap. I climbed into bed and turned on the nightly news. For about one minute.
The sounds coming from outside were not good. I was hearing my sister shout things like, "SMOOCH NO!"
then, "JOHNNY!" then "SMOOCH!" I figured Johnny and Smooch had gotten into some sort of altercation.
Not so. Sister was just shouting out all the names she could remember watching Johnny do his arched-back
Halloween cat impression as he came head to head with a rattlesnake in the front yard.
<Spoiler alert: story ends well, don't panic, but don't look either if snakes give you the heebiejeebies.>
So much for that nap. I took one look at the guy and knew he would have to be removed from his present location.
I fetched the snake pole and snake box, showed my sister which button to press on the camera, and went to work.
Some chores are best not left to the ranchsitter.
Me: You're getting this, right? My readers will want proof.
Of course this was the largest, fattest rattlesnake I had ever seen.
Johnny and all the chickens were accounted for, so he must have had rabbit for dinner.
Just as I slipped the noose around his neck and took my death grip on the rope at the other end of the pole, I recognized
the error of my ways. This was no ordinary rattlesnake, and the ordinary snake box was significantly too small to contain him.
My mouth is agape here, so I must have been shouting something on the order of "go get the trash can,"
with a few expletives added for emphasis.
Sister found the trash can. I did a test lift, determined that the snake was under the 30-pound limit of my activity restrictions,
then proceeded to wrangle the snake into the can, confident that my doctor wouldn't object.
Just as the lid was snapped tightly on top of the can, we heard hoofbeats.
Alan: What in the hell is going on here?
Lucy: Are you all right, mom?
George: Did I miss dinner?
Hank: Let me through! I've got everything under control.
I'm not sure what made Hank and his herd finally snap and come to our aid. A very large and angry rattlesnake
in a trash can does make a lot of noise, so perhaps the sound drew them out of their food-induced stupors.
Anyway, we strapped the can of snake into the Ranger and drove him down to snake-release point.
We stretched out the snake pole, hoping to get a full-length picture of him next to it when sister kicked the can
and he slithered out. No such luck. At some point, you have to put safety ahead of blog fodder.
Sister put some sort of snake ninja moves on him and he finally got out of the can.
I made him promise not to even think about returning until mid-October, when the last ranchsitter goes home.