Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

Well dark, anyway. I had gotten up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom--sometime between 1 and 2am. I don't bother to put on my glasses or turn on any lights when I do this, so I was blind in the dark. Our little cape cod is arranged with the 2 main bedrooms upstairs, and everything else, including the bathroom, downstairs. The first half of the journey was completely uneventful. However, on the way back up the stairs, just as I got to the 2nd floor landing, I put my foot down on...something. Felt like a sock, or t-shirt, or something else a bit soft and no particular temperature. I clicked on the light and saw something loosely coiled on the landing. A brown speckled belt? I bent down to pick it up, and with my face about 18" away it came into focus. A small snake? My stepson has 2 pet snakes, and one of them did go AWOL for about 2 months this summer, but both of them are big and more colorful than the one on the landing. It might be a stuffed snake, or rubber, but he's 20 now and that's a bit old to be leaving toy snakes laying around the house. A garter snake from outside? That came into the house and climbed the stairs just because?

As I contemplated, the little snake tilted his head at me and flicked his tongue. Ok, so it's a live snake 18" away from my face. I heard Christopher's TV on, so figured he was awake. I found out later I was wrong about that assumption, which is why our conversation was so strange. It went something like:

Chris, hey Chris there's a small snake out here.


Is it yours?


Hey Chris, is this your snake out here?


There's a small snake out here, is it yours? Could you come out and get it?

Does it look like it's going to bite?

I don't know, will you just come out here?

At which point he came out rather blearily with a chopstick in his hand, used the chopstick to pick up the snake by the middle, and then carried it back into his bedroom. I went to bed and laid awake for another hour or so worrying about what could have happened to the snake if I had been wearing shoes.

I am so glad he's so much easier to parent these days. We even had a laugh over it the next day.