Here’s Bill in his baggy white underpants, barefoot with a dead tree branch in his hand. It’s dark. It’s late. He and I are outside hunting for a snake. I have a flashlight the size of a pencil in my hand.
I’d gone looking for my big, red maine coon cat in his large, covered cat yard. Karl hadn’t made his usual squeaking noises when I opened his wire door and called for him to come with me into the house.
All I have is that tiny flashlight in the late dark and I can’t find Karl. I thrash through the tall zinnias and point the light into the spiky, yellow wild primroses. Nope. Not here. I trip a bit and grab the side of the wire yard just in time. Then I look under Karl’s favorite bush. Nope.
“Here Kitty, Kitty Karl…here Kitty!”
Ahhh, here he is crouched next to the wire, staring intently at something. I’m saying, “…Hey, Karl…what’s up?”
Well, what’s up is a snake! Curled up! On the other side of the wire.
Oh boy. I look but I can’t see if it’s a small rattler or a friendly snake.
…And, I’m worried because every night Karl insists he has to spend all night out here.
A few days ago, I saw coyote tracks in the soft dirt beside the yard. And, now a snake. The yard is covered on top with chicken wire but with enough patience something could dig under the yard wire. Or slide through the wire holes.
I have to get Bill. He’s in his studio and probably asleep, but this is serious. (more…)