Wild Life

The perils of south Florida are being neatly dispatched. First, there was the life threatening weather that never materialized and second, Mr. Snake vanished. I noticed he had not appeared in quite some time, and in the loosest sense I missed him, worried what had become of him.

All summer long, everywhere I looked, my eye was tricked by shade, by a section of garden hose, by a benign frond, and I jumped in place and visualized the quick moving beast looping up my bare legs, puncturing my jugular with a well placed fang. I could feel him on me in every swish of innocent leaves. I was hyper aware of his not coming around because for a time I was waiting for him, like an assassin, ready to implement whatever permanent damage I could muster.
I had petitioned everyone I know for ways to handle this intruder. Smack it with a shovel, make friends with it, feed it, ignore it, give it a name, were just some of the extraordinarily lame suggestions flung my way. One friend counseled, “Don’t be such a weenie! It’s a rat snake, they eat rats. Just don’t step on it.” Reluctantly, and fully creeped out, I cleared the heaps of fallen leaves and the mounds of squishy balls that continually thunder down from a sweet almond tree. The best suggestion came from my mother, HRH Princess Elizabeth Karageorgevic, who spent a good portion of her childhood in Kenya. “Easy! Get a mongoose,” she advised. “I had a pet mongoose when I was a child, and they love to eat snakes.”



13 thoughts on “Wild Life

  1. I’m so proud of you that you are able to acknowledge benign wildlife without the need to murder it, even if by cat or mongoose proxy. xx

  2. Find a cat! My friends kitten caught a small snake in hers yard, and went in fornt of my friends door to show her.

  3. There was a corn snake who chased a rat out to the furthest branch of our sapadila tree. The branch broke and the rat scurried away, but the snake stayed and moved into our yard. My wife called animal control. They asked her for a description of the snake and told her it was harmless. When she asked about the safety of our cat, the women from animal control said, if your cat got near the snake, the snake would surely have a heart attack. The snake stayed around for a few days and then moved on.

  4. Matteo! how wonderful you and Kiki will be here- please be sure and say hello, and we’ll go for a Cuban coffee. and no, please do not worry about the snakes.

  5. Now I know what to get you for your birthday–a mongoose! Apparently not even a lively one if all Mr Snakey does is cover his eyes to hide. Too cute. On second thought, I think I’m starting to like him.

  6. loved the perillous home picture. Since we are due in Key west for xmas, Kiki asks if there’s danger of tripping over snakes then… no sense of wilderness… besides, we’d like to invite you for coffee or dinner then.. ciao

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