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Location: Greensboro, NC, United States

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Snakes In My Basement

This past Sunday morning at church, my minister announced that on an upcoming Saturday he would be holding a service for the blessing of the animals. “Bring all your pets,” he instructed us, “except snakes.” Having forgotten temporarily that God had cursed the snake (Gen. 3:14-15), I was surprised to hear that current Anglican outreach practices aren’t ecumenical enough to extend to our serpentine friends. If snakes were blessed at the service, I thought, it wouldn’t be the first time they were welcomed by the Anglican communion. At any rate, since I don’t own a pet, this didn’t apply to me. Or so I thought.

It wasn’t until later that evening that, in the spirit of the least creatively titled movie of all time, I found a snake in my basement. I was on the way to the washing machine when what appeared to be a baby copperhead slithered across my path. If he had been stretched out, I imagine he would have been about nine inches in length. I didn’t let him live long enough to find out. I thought later that it might have been more appropriate to kill him by stepping on his head, if for symbolic reasons alone. Instead I opted to hack him to pieces with a flat-nosed shovel, after which I cast the remnants of his body into the outer darkness of the night. This method proved to be wise enough.

The night found me sleepless and concerned that my deceased adversary might have near relatives somewhere hid in the recesses of the basement. An acquaintance has since assured me that this was probably just a fruit snake, which looks like a small copperhead, and that they like to come in the house when it’s raining, which it had been. (Let them build their own houses, I say.) Eventhough I’m feeling confident that this fellow knew what he was talking about, only time and a lot of searching the basement will tell for sure.

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