I stepped out the back door onto the stoop that led from the house into the garage. Out of the corner of my left eye I saw something skinny, black, and shiny "slither" under those steps. Was it the wind? Had a leaf, twig or black ribbon blown under there? NO! It had to be a SNAKE, my most feared enemy! After much squealing, jumping up and down, and shouting "help"...I realized that I must act. Who knows where that monster was heading.... under the house, coiling around the pipes to the bathroom, there were endless possibilities. Panic set in! I ran into the house and dialed 911. The local sheriffs dept. dispatcher answered the ring. "Quick", I breathlessly panted, "get someone to my house immediately..WITH A GUN..there's a snake in my garage." She paused for a LONG time and then replied, trying to calm down my racing heart, "you'll have to call Animal Control, lady. Officers don't take "snake calls."
She gave me the number and I contacted the "Alligator Man". YES, that was his name, that's how he answered his phone and that was the sign on his truck when he pulled into my driveway about 20 min. later. The truck was red, old and dilapidated, covered with mud bearing yet another sign that read,"Stand back, Live Alligators!" When the drivers door opened a wild man emerged. He must have been 7 feet tall, bushy gray beard and hair, sporting a 100 year old hat and waders over his mud-green jacket. In a deep voice he greeted me, "YOU THE ONE WITH THE SNAKE." My eyes must have been hanging off my face. "yes"
He tore into that garage, opening all closets and drawers and finally crawled under those tiny steps. He must have expected a Burmese python to meet him in that dark place. All the while I was doing the "snake dance" about 200 feet away while yelling "Got him yet???" Got him yet???" After about 25 minutes he exited the garage holding the culprit by the tail. The monster was about 15 inches long and as thick as a yellow lead pencil. That was HIM!!! Mr. Alligator Man's fee was $25.00. I would have paid $500.00 if he'd asked for it. He threw his catch in the back of the truck, alongside the alligator I suppose. I didn't look! They were soon gone heading down the road in pursuit of other scary creatures. End of story, right??
OH,NO! The next day we went to church and in the Sunday School Class we were attending a lady reenacted to the whole group her previous workdays experience. With as much drama as an academy award winning actress, she explained that as she was working as the dispatch lady for the Sheriff's Dept. the day before, some crazy lady called 911 and asked that an officer be sent to her house WITH A GUN to retrieve a snake!! Riotous laughter all around. Why DID that woman have to be so dramatic??? Don't you just wonder why SOME women are so adept at exaggeration?? Well, I couldn't let that go by with a clear conscience, I had to raise my hand and admit it. I'd learned long ago that it's o.k. to make a fool of yourself and fess up. I've got a lizard story too, but that's for another day.