Subourbon Mom

We Are Not Farm People
Nephew #1 Dangling The Snake

Nephew #1 Dangling The Snake

Occasionally, events happen that can make you re-think the roles you play in your marriage. In our house, all things accounting (see my previous blog:, mechanical and packing-related fall to Hubby; most things domestic, flowers and shrubs, and cleaning up pet poop, vomit and carcasses ( ) fall to me.  There was one category that fell to me by default, not because I necessarily am good at handling them, but because I was more familiar with them:


Hubby grew up in Bermuda, where there are no snakes, except for the occasional gardener that snuck in via a tourist’s golf bag. He has always had a healthy appreciation for them, and has never failed to rapidly remove himself from any uncontrolled snake situation.  In fact, when I was very pregnant with Daughter #2, Hubby saw a snake dropping from my brother’s gutters, and in a moment of animal instinct, he jumped behind me (I like to say he threw me in front of him). For years this has been a family joke, which he good-naturedly took on the chin.

Oh, but that was about to change…

Yesterday, we took a trip to see the in-laws on their beautiful horse farm in Virginia.  Various nieces, nephews and grand-nieces were there, all running about the place, kicking soccer balls, exploring the barns and generally causing mayhem everywhere they went. Around Happy Hour, as the adults were slowing down and the thought of a nice cool drink was sifting through our humidified brains, someone came rushing in to inform us there was a huge black snake in the tree outside. Of course, being the suburbanites we are, we flocked around to look at the rare (to us) creature of the wilderness.

Sure enough, curled up in the crook of a giant old beech tree was a black snake. We could just see a few inches of its body, and it was definitely in the “bigger-than-I-want-to-get-close-to” category.  Nephew #1 (the oldest at 16, and who lives on the farm), had a cast on his arm, but decided to scale the tree anyway and (what else?)…poke it with a stick.

Like a group of tourists watching a Bedouin snake charmer, we took videos and pictures with our cell phones.  We gasped and shrieked as the harmless snake lifted its head and glared at Nephew #1. The smaller nieces were shooed away to the patio.

As Nephew #1 pushed and prodded the snake out of the tree, Nephew #4 (age 9, who also lives on the farm) stood beneath the tree, hoping to catch it by its tail as it dropped. The snake finally gave up its Happy Hour hiding place (which happened to be filled with water—he’s definitely related to us) and dropped to the ground.

Now, I’m not proud of this—in fact, I’m pretty mortified:  as the snake hit the ground, I pushed Daughter #2 in front of me and ran to the patio with the little ones—just like Hubby had done to me 13 years ago.

That’s right.  I pushed my own child in the potential path of a snake so that I could get away. Way to go, Mom—excellent parenting.

In the mayhem that followed, Nephew #1 grabbed the snake by its tail, letting it dangle for a while so we could all get a good view. Eventually, Nephew #4 draped the snake over his shoulders and took it to another part of the yard, away from the timid city-folk.

With the excitement over, it was soon time to go. On the way home, I told Hubby I would never, EVER, make fun of him for shoving me into harm’s way over a snake again. But I think Daughter #1 said it best. As we pulled out of the driveway, and it was quiet for a moment, her matter-of-fact teenage voice came from the back seat:

“We are not farm people.”

11 Comments so far
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just kill me if that ever happens to me.

Comment by Gail Byrd White

I think you would die of a heart attack before I would have to kill you!


Comment by libbyhall

This Hubby guy sounds like a wimp!!!

Comment by Rob Hall

No, just a normal suburban man stripped of all his pretensions! That’s why I love him!


Comment by libbyhall

The only good snake is a dead snake. I’d send you the video of my two kids with a beheaded snake where they were squeezing out the snake’s last two meals (semi digestyed rat and not digested rabbit) but PETA might come to my house. The Medicare Mom

Comment by Jody Worsham



Comment by libbyhall

Very nice, but I must say it just does not do justice to the overwhelming fear running rampant on the porch! LOL

Comment by Susan

Although snakes are gorgeous and necessary, I’m not a farm person either. It’s cool that you had a chance to look at the snake, most won’t hurt you unless they feel threatened. Glad all ended well and safe for both your family and the snake!

Comment by Katie Renee

Thanks! At least I’m not as opposed to them as my mom–we call her the Snake Slayer. At 76 she’s pretty impressive with a shovel.

Comment by libbyhall

Great story, but black snakes are good to have around the yard. They eat mice, moles and other critters that we suburban types are always fighting. Don’t want any other snakes around my house. Yuck! Actually, I get more upset by the raccoons and opossums. I even saw a deer a few weeks ago. All these animals just wander around the neighborhood, eating what they can find.

Comment by Sharon

I know that in theory black snakes are good, and they eat mice, etc, but there is just something so visceral about themI always thought I’d be stronger than that. 🙂

Comment by libbyhall

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