[not a chapter]
Living at the lake has changed our lives. Not only is it a beautiful, peaceful place, the lake is packed with interesting wildlife that we love to watch and, sometimes, destroy.
There are muskrats, with which we are in constant battle. We have acquired a pellet gun which is so fun to shoot. But, let me concentrate on the snakes for this post and leave the muskrats for another post.
We have killed a few. Mike is Indiana Jones with snakes. He hates them, fears them, and wants them dead. I have little fear of them. Here is our most recent adventure.
“Laur, there’s a fish eating a snake!”
I run to the window to see, still in my pajamas. It is raining again and right near our dock a snake is thrashing. There goes a fish. Who has whom?
Mike is going out the back door and runs down the hill. He turns and yells, “The snake has the fish!” (duh)
Then, with the glee of a twelve-year-old, “There are TWO snakes!”
Now he is down there in sandals in the rain leaning over the edge of the dock watching the battle. I am running around throwing on clothes and finding a hat. I dash out the back door and ask him what he needs and he yells back, “weapons!”
That could, and did, mean a lot of things. I made four trips down and back up the hill bringing shovels and rakes and hoes, a tree trimmer, and, finally, the pellet gun and pack of pellets.
By then, the snakes were under our dock, still thrashing. We poked at them with our various metal devices on wooden sticks from above, safely on our dock. Suddenly, one snake wrenched the little catfish away from the other and the loser swam away.
Like lightning, I grabbed a flat shovel and ran down the slippery rocks after him. I hacked him in the back before he could crawl into the rocks. He hissed at me so I whomped him again on the head. Then I fell on my ass, and he swam under our dock to hide. Adrenaline pumping!
Returning to snake number one, he still had the catfish and was wound around the concrete block at the bottom of a dock pole. He was mostly hidden, but the fish stuck out. I went after the fish with a rake, occasionally hooking it and having a tug-o-war with the snake. Whenever the snake was exposed, Mike would shoot it. So much fun, and it was still raining!
We worked in this way for a good while until I got the fish away on a lucky pull. The damn thing swam away after over an hour of struggle!
THEN! We saw a snake over by the side of the dock. It looked crippled: its back was hunched and its head came out for air. I wanted to run to the end of the jet ski ramp and pull it in, but Mike wanted to take a shot. He did. The snake sunk. Woooohoooo! (I was getting loud and wondering (hoping) that the neighbors were witnessing our spectacle and were jealous of our adventure.)
We were about to pack it up and retreat when the snake-around-the-pole lifted his head for air! He was so well hidden we thought he was gone. Mike took a couple of shots (and missed, I think) while I stood closer, down on the rocks at a much better vantage point. Finally, I sweetly asked him to let me shoot. (I yelled “Lock and load!” after one of his misses and demanded a turn.)
I shot the bugger in the head the next time he came up.
SO FUN! I love the lake!
Mike insists, in his skeptical way, that we can only claim that we wounded or damaged them and did not actually kill them, since we did not retrieve the bodies.
I say we killed two giant snakes and scared the rest away.