Monday, August 22, 2011

Why I'm Moving North

Yesterday morning I looked out the door and saw Annie dodging and feinting around something on the ground.  I needed to check it out.  It could've been a toy, or something Fletcher the cat drug up, or just a frog. 

Baby on my hip, out the door we went.  As we got closer, I noticed that she wasn't barking as usual.  Hmmm....  It looked like a big toad....  But wait.  No.......! 




I called Annie off, and for once she was good.  I shooed her back toward the house, and tried to get a better look.  It remained coiled up, not moving much. 

Back to the house quickly, and I flew through the door, calling to Cabbage as I tore through the house.  Get up!  Cabbage?  Wake UP!  Snake!  Did you hear me?

When I reached our room, he was just sitting up.  Slowly, he moved to the side of the bed.  Retired bullriders don't move quickly early in the morning.

Eventually, I saw up him stand up and pull on shorts, and I ran for my camera.  (Notice how my blogging instincts have sharpened in recent weeks)

Cabbage: Where is it? 
Me: Near the grass you've been watering for Junior.  It's the coolest, moistest place around. 
Unspoken: You conjured this snake with your foolish watering strategy, Cabbage.  Otherwise, it would never have found us. 

I headed out the door, and Cabbage appeared just behind me.  Barefoot.

Now folks, I know I'm married to a cowboy.  And he has more than his fair share of redneck DNA, but this choice to be shoeless struck me as significantly below his intellectual capabilities.  It took him a minute, but he regrouped, and reappeared with boots on.

Good thinking, Cabbage.

He grabbed a shovel, and I walked carefully toward the snake sighting, re-located it just a few inches further away, and started snapping pictures.

Zoom is a good thing.  We were a safe distance away, especially since it was hardly moving.

Cabbage was bravely checking it out to see what kind of snake it was.  Although he and I agree that all snakes are creepy, we do understand that some snakes don't hurt us and do eat other snakes.  Those are the kinds we (theoretically) are (more) ok with having on other people's ranches the same planet.  If we have to.  So he had to get a good look at it, to see what the next course of action would be.

Maybe you'd like a look at the scene.  Let me show you in detail.

It was a pretty busy place.

After a few minutes, and some poking... was determined the snake was injured.  Cabbage didn't recognize it as a poisonous variety, so he otherwise might have chased it deep into a pasture and called it a day.  Because, you know, it would have been the right thing to do.


Unfortunately, it had what appeared to be a (get this) hoof print just behind its head.  That's right.  One of the horses- probably one of the mares in the pasture- had stepped on it. 

I love those mares.  I want to bring them in my house and feed them carrots and put them on snake patrol.

After the snake was- ahem- no longer an issue (remember, it was gravely injured), we looked at all the animals to make sure nobody was bitten.

Dogs: check and check.

Goldie: check. 

Cedar: check.

Junior, looking not amused: check.

Not pictured: Fletcher.  Check.

So there you have it: our early morning excitement on a Sunday.  Fortunately, a happy ending for us... if you don't count the fact that THERE WAS A SNAKE NEAR MY HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!

And this, my friends, is the reason for the Moving Northward Scale.  We've since identified it as a hog nose snake, which is non-venomous.  But still vomit-worthy.

This incident rated a stellar 9.99 on the MNS, and is precisely why I have informed Cabbage I am moving north.

That's it.  Done.  Overandout.  Thankyouandgoodnight.


  1. This is probably my favorite post yet. Love the diagram of Joey's tan lines and tube socks.

    But you're not really moving north... Are you?

  2. Ummm... No. But it's tempting. And would be justified.

  3. How does that compare to your mother finding a scorpion in the bathtub on the very first morning in San Antonio? Good thing I looked before I leaped. Remember, I made Joey get up to take care of it. And you crowned him the Great Scorpion Killer :)

  4. Cabbage Ranchers...let me win that lottery and we'll help you move north! We have snakes...but only in small quantities about 2 months of the year (too cold the rest of the time).

    But you'd have to bring the bats to keep the copious quantities of mosquitoes at bay.



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