Don’t Hold it Against Me, But…

I’m a murderer!

There, I said it. Confession is so good for the soul.

No, I didn’t kill a person, so don’t send over the sheriff. Nor did I spoil someone’s dreams, or slaughter a piece of writing, or even slay a dragon.

The object of my wrath was a garter snake, a striped green-and-gold beast slithering in my backyard yesterday afternoon. For anyone who hasn’t seen one, here’s a photo (thanks to Wild Wisconsin Web):

Garter Snake

Garter Snake

This isn’t the one I killed. Sorry, but I didn’t have presence of mind to grab my camera — I was too busy running for a murder weapon!

Let’s get this straight once and for all. I don’t like snakes, any kind of snake. But as long as they’re minding their own business, far from me and my business, I’ll leave them alone.

But let them threaten me or what’s mine, and we’ve got a whole new ballgame.

Snakey was curled up in the grass, taking advantage of a brief spell of sunshine. His head was raised so he could look around and enjoy the newly sprouting leaves and flowers.

Perhaps it would’ve been easier to chase him off, but then I’d never know when he’d come back, taunting me and my dog with his flickering tongue and shimmying tail.

So I raced to where we keep the hoe, grabbed it, and hurried back to where Snakey lay.

Oops, he’d slithered off!

No, you don’t, I thought, as I gingerly stepped off the patio and searched for his coiled body.


As my Sheltie watched with interest, I pounded Snakey with the hoe.

Again and again.

The darn thing refused to die.

First one part, then the other, kept flopping around and trying to get away.

But I was determined.

Over and over, I chopped into Snakey’s body. When I saw blood spurt out, I knew I was succeeding at last (though I must confess, I felt more like throwing up than continuing the battle!).

At last, Snakey quit writhing. All was calm.

I scooped up as much of him as I could with the hoe and carried him across the yard to the back fence, where I dropped him most unceremoniously into an empty field.

Back where he probably came from.

Sheltie wanted to investigate the collateral damage to the grass — and see if any food happened to be left behind.

I merely wanted to vacate the scene and let my brain stop shaking in my head from all the pounding.

That, and find a way to get the hoe sharpened for the next time!

Because I’m sure there will be a next time.