A Snake in the Kitchen

Last night  I swept a snake out of my kitchen in San Pancho. Not a big snake—maybe three feet long, fat as a garden hose, brown with black diamonds. But still, I vibrated with fear as I ran for a broom.

I had to act this time. Last year, when a similar snake appeared in the same spot, I panicked. I bolted into another room to consider my options, upset with Marsh that I, his widow, would have to deal with this crisis alone. After working up my nerve, I returned to peer around the kitchen corner but the damn snake was nowhere to be seen. It caused me a long anxious night, cowering in my bedroom, unable to sleep.

I admit, albeit sheepishly, that I feel proud of myself for pushing a garden snake out the back door. Relieved, too, to have dealt with one more experience I always dreaded. It’s the cliched fear of the unknown, isn’t it? Am I up to the task? How will I do? Now I know.

Like my fear of being stung by a scorpion. The first time it happened, I was relieved to learn how my body reacts, i.e. my throat doesn’t constrict, and I don’t die. The second time, I just popped an antihistamine and waited for the nausea and numbness to pass. (In the interest of science, let me point out that this can take days. A better, faster remedy is an intravenous drip. Two hours and $25 at the San Pancho regional hospital)

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