Friday, November 04, 2005

More Wildlife Adventures

As you may have noticed, my family's an eccentric little mobile circus that always ends up including animal acts (whether intentionally or not).

As I was regailing you with my lizard rescue story, I had an epiphany as to why my mother has such dislike for reptiles.

When I was very young, my parents packed me and my two brothers into the back of a tiny car to drive six hours to visit my grandparents. The whole trip was one long desolate road with no trees and bored cows. You know, the kind of trip that resulted in at least one of my brothers being expelled from the vehicle.

It was well after midnight when my parents pulled up to a lonely road stop for a break and to attend to the wonderous call of nature. I remained in the car in a state of semiconsciousness only vaguely aware that we had stopped. It was one of those reststops that is but a large pop-up bush next to a sheltered picnic table. There was absolutely nothing else but dust and asphalt as far as the eye could see. Not even crickets ventured an opinion, it was dead quiet.

Then, the silence was shattered by the screech of my mother. My eyes snapped open in time to see her dive from behind the bush (literally, like a professional baseball player sliding into home) with her pants around her ankles bathed in the white luminence of the headlights. Just as the echoes of her screech faded into the lonely howl of the wind, a soft rattling sound could be heard. A very disgruntled looked rattlesnake made its stately exit from the bush on the opposide side.

My mother later reported (after she had beaten us for laughing at her near death experience) that as she squatted down to attend to business, she spotted two black glittering eyes staring up at her following by that gentle rattling warning. She had come dangerously close to peeing on a rattlesnake's head.

That's my family for you.

Thus, I think her adversion to reptiles is understandable.


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