So my husband has posted about the snake he mowed in the grass. I on the other hand recall a time many years ago when another snake was mowed in the grass. We go back to that time. Dan and I were young, early twenties, we had one child, Dan Adam who was 1 1/2 years old and another baby on the way. Dan was in the Navy back then and we had moved out of base housing and were renting a house in Oak Harbor back then.
The house we lived in was a large rambler on the wrong side of the street. We didn't get a lot of sunshine in the house but the back yard was glorious. It had won several awards for the gardens at one time. However, the back yard was overgrown and had not been taken care of in years. The border of the yard was planted in a variety of bushes all of which needed pruned and for renters who did not really care about gardening it became our nightmare.
One day I had decided to tackle all of the bushes. I set out cutting back all of the branches and trimming them back to a desirable size. This took most of one day. The next day I gathered all the branches and put them in a large pile to take to the composter. This took most of another day. Then the next day I set about mowing our yard.
Dan and I had decided that it would be wise to get an old-fashioned reel push mower for the yard so we could get more exercise but in truth it was an awful way to get the yard mowed. Especially when the yard was full of small branches that kept getting clogged up in the blades as I was mowing. The action for mowing that day was mow one foot; come to an abrupt halt because the blades would not rotate; reach down grab the branch out of the blade; and then continue another foot. I had been at this for about one hour when the mower abruptly came to another stop. Being in the mode I again reached down to remove the stick, when I realized it had eyes that were opening and closing, and a small forked tongue that darted out of its mouth and back in quickly.
Now I think I have told you how terrified of snakes I really am. Refer to the story of Whitlash, pigs and rattlesnakes. At a young age I learned to fear rattlesnakes, and, well, the fear kind of spread to include all snakes. Anyway, I took one look at this itty bitty little snake and it became a 7 foot long python in my eyes; and my legs took flight, and I went scrambling into the house yelling "I got it... I got it... Oh! DAN! Help! HELP, HELP!....
At this point I should explain that Dan was working night shift and sleeping during the day. He also had become used to me screaming but not me hollering "HELP"; so it was no wonder that by the time I broke down the door to our room (out of fear)that Dan was up out of bed in his skivvy drawers and looking for a weapon. It took me a few minutes to be able to explain what had happened. Dan stopped looking for a weapon and proceeded to get dressed so he could kill the snake.
I stayed in the bedroom on the bed and thought about the snake. Then after a minute or two of calming down, I realized that the snake really was only about 10 inches long if that, and was not poisonous and was just going along quietly in his merry way when I had abruptly got it caught up in the mower. In short I began to feel sorry for the poor thing. I ran out the door and called to Dan to please don't kill it. It was just a small snake and it hadn't hurt anything... Could he just let it go? Dan took one look at me and started laughing. He explained that the snake was totally mangled and broken and that there were in actuality several pieces of it in the mower. He also explained that the snake was no longer with us. We buried it in the garden and named it Petey!.
Petey was a good snake... He just messed with the wrong woman and a mower. Poor Petey. But when it comes to snakes... better them then me!
Snakes on Whidbey Island.