Tuesday, April 22, 2008


After we dropped Jack off at school today, Ainsley and I headed over to Harris Teeter to pick up a few grocery items that I had not been able to pick up at SuperTarget yesterday. Most importantly Jack's chocolate milk, because SuperTarget has not had it in stock for the past 9 days (SuperTarget...not so super!) So, we got home and I started putting the groceries away while Ainsley headed over to her "clubhouse" and proceeded to clear everything out, I can only imagine, in order to crawl inside. Except she got a little side-tracked and decided to crawl off into the dining room. I continued putting the groceries away until I realized that she was really quiet. Now, in my experience, Ainsley being quiet is not usually a good thing. And so I wondered if perhaps I forgot to put the gate up and she was working her way up the stairs. Or maybe she was getting into her favorite ficus since the gate that used to protect the ficus is now guarding the stairs. So I walked into the dining room, expecting to see her with a mouth full of dirt or halfway up the stairs. What I wasn't expecting was to see her sitting on the dining room floor, waving a snake in the air. Yes, you read that right. Ainsley had a snake in her hand. For a split second I thought, "Oh, it's a toy. Right? It has to be a toy." But then toys don't generally start wrapping their bodies around your daughter's wrist, do they?

It looked a little something like this...*

*Totally staged photo using a toy snake. Of course I would not let my infant daughter play with an actual snake while I went to go get my camera. But I would give her a toy snake to play with after the fact to use for effect in this blog entry. Shameless, I know.

Anyway, then I started to panic and I ran in and grabbed her arm and tried to get her to drop the snake. Which she wouldn't do. And then she started crying, either because I totally freaked her out or maybe because the snake was trying to bite her, because I could see it's jaws open...and after what seemed like an hour and a half, but was probably only 3 seconds, she did drop it and all (at least) 18 inches of it slowly slithered over into the corner behind that stupid ficus.

I called Doug and when he didn't answer, I called my neighbor, Wini, and begged her to come over and help me get the snake out of the house. Our conversation went a little something like this:

Me: Seriously, how do I tell if a snake is poisonous, because I think one just bit my daughter!

Wini: Uhh...what??

Me: Oh, and it's still in my house!

Wini: What??


Okay, that's probably not exactly how it went, but the details are a little hazy since I was seriously about to lose it. You get the idea though. And because she's a good friend, she came over and didn't even laugh at me when I met her at the door with an empty Cool Whip container, even though I know she was thinking, "Um, right...I'm sure we can catch this snake with a Cool Whip container!"

Wini called her husband, Terry, and described the snake to him. He said he was pretty sure that it was a harmless snake, but that if it wasn't and if it had bit Ainsley, she would be having a very severe reaction. Ainsley had a couple of little scrapes on her wrist, but no other reactions, so Terry told us we needed to just get the snake out of the house and keep it until he or Doug came home. Using some cookie sheets, cook books and cutting boards, we were able to sort of trap it and then with a really big stick, prodded it into a large stock pot lined with a trash bag. Once we got him in the trash bag, we put the trash bag into another bag, tied it up and put him on the front porch until the guys could get home. Doug let him out (way down the street) and I took this picture.

Doug sent the picture to someone at Davidson College that ID's snakes and he let us know it is a juvenile black rat snake. A harmless snake that eats lots of mice and rats, so let's hope he does just that and eats all the ones in the neighborhood, because I don't know what I would do if I found Ainsley playing with one of those!!

This girl is going to be the death of me...


Jennifer said...

All I can say is OMG!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Freakin' awesome Ainsley! You are my hero. I'm scared to death of snakes! Uncle Scott