I needed to borrow my sister’s truck to help a friend transport a grill, so I headed up to her place on 4th of July morning and found Wa, brow knitted, picking up yard waste. A few minutes prior, she told me, she had startled a copperhead who was resting underneath a bush, and it had slithered its way across the yard. And now she couldn’t find it.
And I don’t exactly want to French kiss snakes, but my sister— You know how we all have a thing? Snakes are her thing. Last year, a black snake got into her house, and we agreed she pretty much had PTSD for months afterward.
Now, another snake. She called my brother-in-law who was an hour away with the kids, and he reminded her of the machete in the shed, which she fetched. Then she tiptoed around the perimeter of the yard until she called to me that she had found the snake again.
“Right there,” she said, pointing.
I looked. ”Right where?” I said.
“Right there, under the fence.”
I moved closer. ”I can’t see it,” I said.
“Under the slat with the hole in it.” I squinted. I turned my head. I leaned in. Oh, shit! Right there. If it was a snake, it’d woulda bit me.
As it were.
At first, I was all, Hat tip on your camo, little man. And then I stepped back and was like, why are my knees all gushy?
About then, Wa’s neighbor came over, and we pointed out the viper. Honest, I was kinda hoping he’d jump in and say, “You ladies go put your feet up inside; I’ll handle this varmint.” But he just kept looking at it… and looking at it… and frowning, and I thought, I’ma have to kill this reptile mydamnself.
The animal poked his slithery head out from under the fence, and for a minute, I felt bad for him. He looked kinda skeered. But then I imagined my nieces and nephew, skipping barefoot to the trampoline, and I was all, Oh hell no, you’re gonna die today, little friend.
The neighbor-man put the shovel on one side of the fence and nudged the snake my way. I took a deep breath, lifted the machete, and went all Game of Thrones on his ass (neck).
I wish I could say I got him in one whack, but my hands were shaking and it took two for sure. And then I whacked him again for making my hands shake. Asshole.
Neighbor-man pulled him out from under the fence, laid him on a paving stone, and gave him a chop with the shovel for good measure. Thanks for nothing, neighbor-man.
Naturally, I had to let Facebook know. (Click for bigger.)
On that one, my old boyfriend from Mexico was all “Huh?” so then I had to brag in Spanish.
So there you go. One of my friends commented that, with this act, I earned a place on her speed-dial. Another told me he was going to call me Machete from now on.
You know, whatever. No big. I kill víboras cobrizas con un machete. It’s what I do.
*Give or take 2.5 feet.