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.

6 thoughts on “Don’t Hold it Against Me, But…

  1. Remind me to never tick you or yours off! I’m sorry but this post almost made me feel sorry for the snake…I do admire your ability to your hoe down a slithering varmint–blood spurting and all….and send it to its reward.

    • I kind of felt sorry for Snakey, too, but he was too close to our back door for my comfort and I didn’t want him slithering in! With all the rain we’ve had, I’m afraid his siblings and friends will take up camp here — maybe his demise will serve as a warning!

  2. I am not a fan of snakes either! My next door neighbor had a huge garter in her yard and wanted my husband to kill it for her. He told her it was a good snake and wouldn’t kill it but would relocate it in our yard near the shed at the back of the yard! I told him no way unless he wished for a divorce in his near future! Fortunately, the snake slithered into the hole in her yard so he didn’t catch it!

    • I know garter snakes are supposed to be “good” snakes, but I didn’t want to face the likelihood my Sheltie would find it, herd it into a corner, and play with it to its death! Looks like you took the easy way out in letting Snakey slither off on his own.

    • Welcome, then, and do come back! My Sheltie just turned four — he’s everything you say and more. I don’t want to think about him growing old because he’s truly my sidekick. His breeder is trying to convince me to get a second one, but he’s so needy that I’m not sure how that would play out. Do you have two, or is this the second one you’ve had? Any advice?

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