Saturday, January 12, 2013

Prompt: Snake guards

I thought it was a joke at first, like the urban legend of the protective note on the door:

“Steve, don’t go in. The python got out of its crate again, and it’s too big to handle alone. I’ll be back with Bill ASAP. Charlie”

I mean, seriously. Snakes in a pot warehouse? Sounds like a bad movie. Wait, they did that already.

But I got the call at 4am to head on out 64, just east of Bunn Lake. You know it’s the middle of nowhere when the “big town” landmark is Bunn, North Carolina. Guy had 80 acres and smack in the middle were three warehouse-size greenhouses full of marijuana. And snakes. Lots of snakes. Jesus Christ, all right, I heard you. Calm down. Just give me an address; I’ll GPS it.

I could hear the fear and doubt in the young deputy’s voice. He didn’t know me. Didn’t bother me none. I’m used to it by now. People make a lot more assumptions than snakes do, I’ll tell you that.

It wasn’t the snakes that bothered me, it was the hour of the call. Seriously, those snakes had stayed put for how long? They weren’t going anywhere before noon. But, once awake, I figured I may as well start some coffee and collecting gear. It was going to be a long day.

That’s my job, snake wrangling. I been handling snakes my whole life, long as I can remember. I used to catch garters and rat snakes in the back yard at my Grandaddy’s place and carry them around my neck and wrists like jewelry. My college had these old swing doors with gaps at the bottom, and snakes were always looking for warm hidey holes in the dorms and classrooms. Got to where I’d get a text every couple a days to come pickup a snake. Cause I let it be known real quick that I’d rather get a call in the middle of the night than find out some idiot got bit for no good reason. Other than being an idiot.

Thing is, snakes always seem to know the difference between someone who wants to help and someone who intends ‘em harm. My granddaddy showed me how to handle snakes. He was a religious man and handled them in church his whole life. My momma didn’t hold with that and never let me go to church with him and Grammie. But I spend weekends and most summers out at their place, so I handled plenty of snakes with him, just not praying over them.

Dogs in house:

January word count:

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