Well, he was partly right. I don't mind spiders, but I HATE SNAKES. I have never seen one that I thought was "beautiful" or "interesting" or anything other than "back-of-the-neck-clenching-hideous." I respect everyone's right to own snakes, love snakes, handle snakes or swerve around them when they see them crossing a road...but I will never understand. It's like voting. I respect your right to have voted for an idiot, but I don't have to understand it or like it or agree. And I can't help but doubt your sanity when you tell me about it.
What prompted this outpouring of serpent disgust? One of my gorgeous fantail pigeons had been faithfully setting on 4 beautiful little eggs. I was so excited. I had moved her and the egglings right up on my front porch in a bunny hutch that I placed right outside my bedroom window. Over the past few weeks I had chased off raccoons and possums and the occasional dachshund that showed too much interest in their cage and I was counting the days to hatching. Think about it, have YOU ever seen a newborn pigeon? It always seemed to me that they were hatched as adults. I see flocks of pigeons in cities, all exactly the same size and apparent age. No babies. You sometimes see baby wild birds in different stages of fledging, but, not pigeons. I was mesmerized. Every morning when I gave them their breakfast, I couldn't wait for mama to step off her nest for a few moments so I could see her eggs. The morning they were due to hatch I made them a special breakfast, hoping mama would stay off just a few minutes longer and I would get a chance to see the new babies.
Surprise. She was already off the nest. I leaned in closer...and the nest was empty. I got a flashlight so I could see into the dark corners where surely the babies were hiding. Nope. No babies. No eggs. Had it been any predator other than a snake there would have been some sign of the drama. Egg shells, baby bird parts, something to give a hint as to what had done the damage. The fact that there was nothing aimed a bright red flaming arrow in the direction of...a snake. The only creature that makes eggs just disappear.
I don't care if it was a poisonous snake or a "beneficial snake" if I find out who did it, he will pay. I'm thinking I'd look really snazzy in a snakeskin belt, with maybe some snake tooth earrings, and possibly toss a few snake steaks on the barbie. Yeah. I'm that mad. (Although my skin crawled a little bit when I was thinking about a snake skin anywhere near my body whether or not the snake was inhabiting it at the time.)
Don't give me the old "it's just nature" argument. It's NOT nature. It ate my PETS! I have ten acres filled with wildlife. Frogs, birds, toads...lots of things that snakes eat. I know. I've seen them. But, this one came on my porch and ate my pre-pets. It's war. Don't give me the "flying rat" argument either and tell me that pigeons are a scourge. I know they can be pests sometimes. Mine aren't.
I learned that snakes hate cloves and cinnamon, so my yard at the moment smells like Thanksgiving. I read that they won't cross a grass rope, so there is one strung around the aviary where the unhappy couple is not presiding again. If I find out that they are afraid of aardvarks, I may be in the market for one. I wish I could afford a mongoose.
If you know any snakes that are looking for a new home, send them my way. I need the target practice. And, Lori, just look away. And hush.
THAT'S MY STORY
I've never been normal. I've never tried to be. I can't imagine anything more boring.
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