Notes For Creators

creative soul surfing

Don’t attract a (big, bad) snake

A few weeks back my wife did battle with a big, thick rattlesnake, for an hour and a half. Apparently this thing was meaty.

Do you wanna know how I found out? She called me — in the middle of it!

Zane and I were 2.5 hours north with friends at the Ron Jon’s water resort for the day. Mid-water play I received a call. Ann was breathing hard. She told me about the snake and how she’d been fighting — with a garden rake — to keep it on the patio till someone could get there to help.

Then this is what I heard next:

(Woman’s scream first): “It’s coming at me! It’s coming at me!”

Then — my Indiana girl who can handle anything — starts speaking calmly again, though panting — telling me about the particulars, every now and then repeating, “It’s coming at me.”

At this point I interrupted: “Ann! Get off the phone. Focus. Focus. I want a wife when I get home tonight . . . . Zane needs a Mommy!”

The message broke through — that and me hanging up.

It all ended well. Ann lived. The snake lived! Though no longer on our property. The snake started charging her to get away and Ann in a deft jujitsu move shunted it off into the pool — where it got truly pissed. The pool is unheated, and was cold, which apparently enrages a reptile. A cold pool doesn’t make me happy and I’m warm blooded.

This is where Ann got a real workout. The snake would zip across the water to exit the pool — Ann would run around the circumference and push it back with the rake — this only further enraged the snake.

An hour and a half into the conflict a hero from the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary showed up and took the snake away.

Ann, not much of a drinker — and never a beer drinker — went inside and downed a bottle of beer in a minute. The snake probably wanted a beer too, now that it was safely away from that crazy blonde with the rake.

Not only is Ann our hero — this fierce Mama wasn’t about to let this rattler leave the patio and disappear into the brush, where it would threaten kid and dog, family and friends — but days later she saw a larger lesson in it all.

Late one night we were talking over our business issues and Ann — uncharacteristically and suddenly and firmly — stated: “Don’t attract a snake!”

Her realization was this: by only focusing on the downside of what was going on financially, we were speeding our way along that path.

Then she launched into the many ways she had focused on snakes. I remembered little of this, since I had been on the road at the time.

Upon putting a bid on the property we now live in, in a rural area (yes it is Russell!), adjacent to a preserve, Ann did the following:

  • Became obsessed about snakes all of a sudden
  • Personally drove up and down the block interviewing neighbors about snakes (this from my shy wife!)
  • Called wildlife officials who worked the area (who, incidentally, told her they pulled far more rattlers and poisonous snakes from our old area, a neighborhood with a home about every twenty feet)
  • Did research on what’s the best gun to purchase for snake shot

Her take that night and since was that our focus should be on where we want to go and on what we can do to make that happen.

Now we have a new saying in our household when we get hung up on the negative side of an issue: Don’t attract a snake.

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