An Open Letter to the Virginia Snake Population

Snake early warning detector.jpg

Early Warning Snake Detector

Dear Snakes,

We need to have a candid discussion about personal space, i.e., my space versus your space and “forbidden zones.”  I have tried to be patient, but it is now time for our peace talks.  Well, it is more that I will do the talking and you will heed my advice.

Now, it is no secret that we have never been BFFs.  You can thank my mother and the python population of the Philippines for my complete lack of trust and compassion for your kind.  “Don’t worry, Mrs. T, it is only a baby python in the tree right next to your front door,” said the 21 year old military police officer.  “Yes, but babies grow up…” my mother countered to the base MPs…it was all they could do not to smirk as they walked away.  There was also a timber rattlesnake at the National Zoo who also closed the door on any future relationship we may have had.

Now, I do not wish harm to you and your families.  I completely understand that you have a role to play in our ecosystem.  In fact, let me say thank you for all you do in controlling the rodent population around the barn and in our shed and yard.  That being said, if you do cross into the Forbidden Zone or the No Trespassing areas, and there is no one else to safely remove you, don’t be surprised if I go full Lizzy Borden on your scaly ass.

So let’s talk about acceptable places for you to live, exist, love and hang out.  The barn yard is acceptable as long as you respect a ring of at least 10 feet around me and the boys.  We will call it the No Trespassing Zone.  I cannot be held responsible if they step on you when you are inside the 10 foot safety zone.  I will deny any wrongdoing if I must pummel you with a shovel or pitchfork if you come within 10 feet of me.  The shavings pile is not a snake make out room.  Please find other suitable areas for those activities.  The barn will also be deemed an acceptable snake hangout place only when Ms. C, Mr. D, Ms. M, and I are not in the barn.  Poking your head out of the drawer in my tack box and coiling around the broom hanging right next to the trash can in the tack room is not cool.  It is akin to popping out of the bushes and yelling, “Boo!”  I am not amused.  How about we just make the tack room a Forbidden Zone? You can have the space under the tack room floor, the hay stall and the hay loft on alternate weeks.

Now let’s really get a little more serious.  I understand that the front yard and backyard of our home appears to be a hospitable environment.  There are birds, bugs, and (unfortunately) rodents. There are numerous places that you might find to be suitable shelter: shrubs, flagstones, the shed, and brush piles.  I bet the space under the deck is a bit of a snake singles bar.  But, I must insist that the same 10-foot ring of personal space be respected.  It is unnerving to be working in the flower bed only to find one of your buddies coiled up less than a foot away from my hand.  I then must suffer the unbridled mirth of my husband when he laughs at my girly screams about a snake in the yard.


Finally, we must discuss the most recent incident.  Your buddy Mr. Black Snake violated the boundary of the Forbidden Zone known as our house.  That’s right.  He barged right in without knocking.  Thank goodness that our dog Brownie alerted us to his unwanted presence in the upstairs guest bathroom.  Brownie howled and went bat crap crazy.  I made it halfway up the stairs and saw his eyes glowing.  I screamed.  My husband calmly extricated your friend and relocated him to a more suitable area.  Seriously, what was he thinking dropping in unannounced????  Did he think it would be a welcome surprise?  Reminder:  Please do not forget my Lizzy Borden threat.