Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 30, 2014

Close encounter of the slithering kind

By Linda Wenger | Oct 18, 2012

I was opening the back door a few evenings ago when I looked to my left and saw a reptilian eye looking at me. I took in the shape of its head. I took in the length of its body. It was a snake and a good-sized snake — longer than a yardstick. The largest part of its body was about 1.5 to 2 inches thick. It was only about 2 feet away from my head, hiding behind a downspout and very well camouflaged by the shadow of the downspout.

I thought about screaming, but there was no one close by to hear me. I’m surprised I didn’t scream immediately. My body stiffened in fear. I opened the door and walked through it to safety.

Once inside I thought about taking a few pictures of the snake. I told myself the snake was probably more afraid of me than I was of it (what a lie). As a warm-blooded creature, I thought I might have an advantage over a cold-blooded snake. The sun was going down and the temperature cooling. Now that I think of it, that snake was so close to me that the temperature of the blood pumping through our veins was meaningless.

The temptation to put a photo of the snake on Facebook was slightly stronger than my full-body fear. So I got out my camera, opened the door, stiffened my spine and then I walked through it. I stepped away and took a few photos, then went back inside.

The Bible verse “And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and hers” from Genesis 3:15 ran through my head. The relationship between woman and snake was determined eons ago.

The photo was on Facebook for less than a minute when a friend “liked” it. I didn’t have to be much of a prophet to know that photo and my story about the snake would get many hits and it did.

When I noticed the darkening sky, I decided to go out that back door another time to see what the snake was doing. It was gone.

Several people have asked what kind of snake it was. It didn’t rattle like a rattlesnake. I’ve looked at garter snakes, corn snakes and bull snakes on the Web and the pattern of my snake doesn’t look like any of them. The color looks more like a bull snake. In the end, it doesn’t matter what kind of snake it was — it was a snake!

Now, I’m rather proud of my behavior. I let my rational mind win over the irrational and neither one of us died.

Comments (2)
Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Oct 22, 2012 12:28
Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Oct 21, 2012 02:45

Ina Hughs

In her 30 years as a newspaper columnist, Ina Hughs has focused on issues involving human rights, children, women's concerns, religion and the environment. She has three grown children: a teacher; a computer programmer; and a speech and language pathologist. Divorced after 30 years of marriage, she now lives in a cabin on a cove off of the Tennessee River and has recently taken up painting. She has received numerous awards over the years, but says her real success comes from making readers think or laugh or to have something to discuss at the dinner table.



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