And Eve Thought She Had Problems
By Deborah Anderson
On one Sunday afternoon, I drove to pick up my 85-year-old mother who lives with my husband and me. She had gone to spend the weekend with my brother, Mike, stating her reason for doing this was "to give me a break."
I nearly got broken all right.
When I arrived at Mike’s place, the front door was wide open. There was no screen door attached, so anything could venture inside. I informed him that rodents would see this as a welcome-mat to come in and visit.
Mike, 47-years-old, nodded and grumbled something in objection to my correction. I told him I loved him before driving away.
Mom and I arrived back at my house and I entered, carrying two bags on each arm. I trudged through the foyer and down the hallway, juggling the bags and thanking God under my breath for making me a strong woman, trying not to get cranky. I put the bags down, and helped Mom to her room so she could unpack.
As I proceeded back down the hallway and into the foyer, I stepped on something, nearly twisting my ankle. I turned, thinking I had dropped something from one of Mom’s bags. Nay, nay, I erred in my assumption. I hadn’t dropped anything. Something had crawled out of one of her bags. Lying before me, writhing on my hardwood floor was a long, slimy, gray snake.
I don’t know if you’ve ever heard a “whisper-scream” before, but I produced one quite effectively in that moment. You know the type. The kind you try to bellow out in your dreams when something is chasing you. Your mouth opens, yet nothing escapes but a squeak, followed by a gasp of air.
I didn’t want Mom to see this and have a stroke. I thought I was going to have a stroke. I hate snakes. I have five cats, and I didn’t want them bitten.
I stomped on the snake with my foot, but it still moved.
I decided to go and get my husband.
I ran, breathless, into the kitchen where my beloved sat. He was entranced in a program playing on the small television we have there.
“Homer…here…now!” I said. Homer is his nickname.
“What is it, honey?” he asked.
God was with me, because he looked up from the television to begin with. That usually didn’t happen, so I knew help was on the way.
“S-s-nake,” I said, pointing my finger toward the foyer. I even pointed my leg the same direction. What pointing my leg was going to accomplish, I didn’t know, but I did it anyway.
“Yeah right,” he said, grinning, and went back to watching television.
I couldn’t believe his response. I was insulted. After 23 years of marriage, you would think this man could have seen the terror on my face and taken me seriously.
“Homer, I’m not kidding,” I said a bit louder. “I just stepped on it.”
“Honey, there’s no snake in the foyer.”
I was beyond offended. I was mad. The same leg I had pointed with earlier stomped in unison with my voice.
“I’m telling you, there’s a snake in the foyer!”
He got up, walked into the foyer, and looked at the floor. “Oh, wow, a snake,” he said.
“I told you!”
“What’s so funny?”
“Honey, this thing is practically dead already.”
“Your big feet must have killed it.”
I didn't laugh, but I wondered if God did as He observed this scene. God does have a sense of humor.
My husband bent down and picked up the snake. It was no longer writhing as it had before. I felt bad. I guess my big feet had killed it, just as he said. Even though I didn’t like snakes, I would never deliberately kill one.
He tossed the snake outside.
I still shudder when I think of that snake slithering under my foot.
Later, Mom came out of her room. I was thankful she was hard of hearing.
“Honey, did you enjoy your break?” she asked.
“Yeah, Mom, I sure did."
Mom didn’t have a stroke, and the snake didn't bite my cats, but I was still insulted. But I would deal with my husband later. I had a phone call to make.
Copyright ©2004 by Deborah Anderson. All rights reserved.
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