The sun was shining and spring was in the air. We’re staying with friends in northern Georgia with our bus and while we’re here the friends took a little get-away to Florida for a few days and left us to attend to their two dogs and keep an eye on the house. The routine has been to go out early and let the dogs out into the pen. Then, after they get some running out of their system to let them in for their doggy breakfast. 

This particular morning I had my coffee in hand, let them out the door and decided to enjoy the early morning sun on the back porch watching the dogs play. As I stood admiring the various flower gardens my eye caught something disturbing. A large snake had decided that the raised garden bed would be an excellent place to get some morning sun. When I noticed the enormous creature I did what any red-blooded American would do – I jumped out of my skin and ran!

I quickly retreated to my coach to retrieve both my gun and my camera. In my opinion, the only good snake is a dead snake and this day it appears it’s my God-given duty to make that happen. I changed some of the usual self-defense bullets for some ‘bird-shot’ type bullets that are occasionally used in a handgun. I wasn’t really sure what kind of lead to use on a six foot (probably fifty pound) snake. Probably a 12ga shotgun (Joe Biden style) would have been best, but I wanted the simplicity and speed of my handgun.

Upon my return the giant snake seemed uninterested in my presence. However, I was at some distance; the next county would have been fine with me. I approached behind a wire fence, maybe 20 feet or so, ready to retreat at the first sign of movement. My heart rate was up, my adrenalin was pumping, my feet were light and ready to move. I stood silent, raised the camera and took a couple shots. Then waited again for movement. Obviously asleep, but a deadly, sneaky killer just the same. As the intensity built, and I watched all the more closely I felt something touch my leg – I believe I went airborne, almost like one of those after-life visions where you’re looking down at your body from above. I could see some poor cat that decided to take this tense moment and join me in seeking some invisible (to the cat) threat. I’ve never appreciated a cat snuggling up to my ankles, but this was the worst possible moment.

I’m not sure where I landed, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t touch the earth again for quite some time. Since the garden of Eden I’ve been rather untrusting of snakes; somewhat of an enmity between me and them (go figure). Satan takes on many forms, but this fits him best, in my opinion.

When I landed, someplace in central Georgia, I returned to my bus to send John (the homeowner and now the owner of a soon-to-be-dead-snake) a picture of the deadly serpent. This is what I wrote:

Now I had a sneaky suspicion that the joke was on me. I had discovered their April fool’s joke. 

I think I ‘ll get some rest from my near-death experience and begin to plan my pay-back.