Thursday, July 02, 2009

Neighborly Nerves

Earlier this week I visited with a couple who live in one of the rural subdivisions around Smithville. They have a nice moderately sized brick home in an area that is loosely zoned for residential purposes, allowing nice homes to be next to rundown mobile homes. Not the kind of subdivision that appeals to me, but when you want the luxury of rural living, sometimes you have to put up with the bitter in the batter.

I wasn't there but a few minutes when we started talking about our pets. We compared cat and dog notes and of course I told Dixie's story to them. They in turn were telling me about a foundling kitten who was trying to move in on them. That led to the discussion of the threat of coyotes and the man casually mentioned "and boa constrictors".

Say what?

It turns out that a neighbor down the way had a pet boa constrictor. It had escaped once and been recaptured without incident. However, the neighbor has since moved and evidence found afterward (in the nature of a very large snakeskin lying in another neighbor's garage) indicates that the snake either escaped again or was turned loose deliberately at some point before the move. The snakeskin was so enormous that it was taken to the county agent for identification and that's when everyone in the vicinity learned that they probably had a boa constrictor roaming the neighborhood.

Snakes are not a species I care to mingle with. Especially snakes that are bigger around than my arm. My first reaction was "nice to meet you, I've got to run now". However, I managed to keep my cool and finish my visit with them. The lady mentioned that she does have a tendency to look up into trees she is about to walk under. I'm all for living peacefully with my wild animal neighbors, but I do not want to walk out my front door and see a boa constrictor hanging down from a tree saying "howdy".

Makes the little rock snakes I see around here seem like small potatoes. Even that coral snake I spotted in the back 40 last year pales in comparison.

Ewww. I don't even want to think about it.


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