Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Balancing out the Snake Karma

I returned home from dropping Mace off at preschool this morning and parked my car on the concrete pad by the steps. Campbell (the dog with the horrible name) ran up to the car, already soaking wet, apparently having already taken a dip in the creek. I hopped out, went inside, made some tea and heard Campbell start barking rather insistently. I figured he was beside (or in) the water barking at a turtle or frog he'd cornered, so I ignored him for a few minutes. When I headed downstairs to the office, I saw that Campbell was feverishly trying to squeeze himself underneath my car. Not more than 15 minutes earlier I had parked that car in that very spot and there was nothing strange on the concrete pad when I pulled in. But now, apparently, 15 short minutes later, something was under the car. If you are not shivering in anticipation, you haven't been reading this blog long enough.

So, keeping well back from the car, I knelt down and looked:

Hmm . . . snake. Being the incredibly brave woman that I am, I took the dog inside and called for Grandma. I told her to keep the dog inside because there was a snake under the car and she nearly ran to the door so she could come outside and see it for herself. Grandma and I have a history with snakes (sorry, I tried to find the link for that post, but after 30 minutes of re-reading some extremely silly blog posts I gave up). The last time we (and by "we" I mean Grandma) caught one, we killed it, only to find out later that it was a harmless corn snake and I felt awful. This snake, upon closer examination (with the camera's zoom lens -- said camera being extracted carefully from the car itself when I realized there was something to actually photograph), was much larger than that sweet little corn snake we killed in cold blood:

Wicked. However, having lived in this wild and untame outpost of suburban Tampa, Florida for the past 5 years, I have learned that if that snake was indeed a water moccasin (which is what we would expect it to be, being so near the water and given its dark coloring), the dog would already be swollen and twitching and in desparate need of $1800 anti-venom that I was not going to get for him (no Dave Ramsey envelope for anti-venom, sorry) because he would have been bitten on the nose while trying to get to the snake underneath the car. This snake was calmly biding his time until he could safely get away -- that is not a moccasin-like behavior.

I was just going to leave him there under the car until time to go back and get Mace at noon, in the hopes that he would just slither away, but Grandma threw out the challenge, "I wonder if he would leave if you moved the car?" So I ever-so-quietly got back into the car and backed it off the concrete pad.

And Grandma, as always, was right.



And gone:

He went straight back to the water where he belongs and I wasn't even tempted to kill him. I'm hoping this evens the score for me in snakeworld.


  1. that does not look like a corn snake to me, Jen

  2. I don't care how friendly or unfriendly a snake he was, he would have been dead at my house. HAHA! They terrify me. Good to see/read ya on here Jen. I guess I need to follow you and stay up to date on your world.

  3. you did not kill it???? what were you thinking? what if it comes back and gets into the house??? what then Jen??? Yikes!!!

  4. Harmless Florida Banded Water Snake, Nerodia fasciata

  5. I have just returned from a Kerala India Ashram. I was in a remote area of the backwaters. I experienced a black snake crawling under my toes what listening to spiritual discourse of my Guru. She calmed us and the snake down with a hand gesture. I watched as a man captured the snake with a towel. A week or two later I was sitting in my room on the 11th floor of my dormitory when another snake crawled across the same toes. I accidentally stepped on it and it bit me but I wasn't aware of the bit. I captured the snake like the man at the beach and released it into the wild downstairs before I realized it had bitten me. My Guru said that no harm will come to anyone here at Her Ashram due to snakes. I trust her completely. But just to be safe I went to the Ashram Hospital, where they sent my to a larger Hospital an Hour away in the nearest large city Kollam. I was there over night for observation but no reaction so no anti-snake venom was given. I must have some snake karma that needed releasing. I apologized to the snake for any harm I did to him. And I did 2 Poojas ( prayer ceremonies) for the release of any more karma. All of Nature is some form of God and should be respected.


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