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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Eek! (02/25/10)

TITLE: Rude Awakening
By Joanney Uthe
03/03/10


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I hate snakes. Perhaps hate is too strong of a word. I have an irrational fear of snakes. Even if I know a certain species is harmless, I still fear them.

Perhaps this is why my husband did not consult me before telling our sons they could keep a garter snake they caught in the yard one fall. He promised them if they kept it alive until Christmas, he would make a bigger tank that the little desktop size aquarium they originally put him in. The snake affectionately, or not, became known as Bendy because he had to bend to lie in the bottom of the aquarium.

My sons soon realized that I did not like the snake. I would not handle Bendy and would stay in another room whenever they did. I bought food for the snake, but it was their job to feed him. In an effort to not undermine my husband’s decision to allow the snake, or to inhibit their learning about and enjoyment of their new pet, I did not tell them the extent of my phobia. The truth is, I had frequent nightmares for the first several months and occasional nightmares for the first three years we had the snake.

At the time my sons caught the snake, I worked the night shift, sleeping while the kids were in school. Their coming home served as my alarm clock. About a year into our adventure with Bendy, I woke up one afternoon to the announcement, “Mom! Mom! Bendy is out of his cage.” I bolted upright, hoping the snake had not found its way into my bedroom. As I left the bedroom with false calm to comfort my son the mist of my own fears, he laughed and said, “April Fools.”

My son had spent all day planning his April Fools’ joke. He almost didn’t live to see April second.


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This article has been read 348 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/05/10
This is hysterical. You have a boy after my own heart. One little typo - use than instead of that.
I thoroughly enjoyed this and am still chuckling at the picture of the MC bolting out of bed.
AnneRene' Capp 03/07/10
What a great story. You said so much without dragging it out. I am like you, so lived it all with you. You did a great job allowing the reader to feel, all that you were feeling and even though I laughed at almost all of it, felt bad about your nightmares. I believe I just might think of this story every April 1st from now on!
Brenda Shipman03/08/10
Yikes! Ones of my worst nightmares, as well. Nice storytelling in this entry.
Joan Campbell03/08/10
This is well written, and, although short, very satisfying. A particularly strong, funny last line. Great job!
Ruth Stromquist03/08/10
"and occasional nightmares for the first three years we had the snake" Wow! I'm impressed at your mothering instinct getting you through 3 years of snake ownership when you have a phobia. Cute, well written humor with a good last-line punch.
Beth LaBuff 03/09/10
LOL! to your humorous ending.. I'm glad April 2nd arrived with everyone still intact. :) I could see all this clearly. :)