|Mom and Lily checking out the raccoons|
raiding Lilly's dinner bowl on the porch.
Wild animals are a feature of life on the prairie.
Never got a bet going because we both bet the same thing.
Me: Hi, Mom. What's up?
Mom: Oh, nothing....
Me: Nothing at all interesting happen this week?
Me: No cop cars or fire truck?
Mom: Oh, uh, well..... (nervous laugh)
Me: No rattlesnake wranglers?
Mom: Well, there was that....
Here's the story*:
Mom goes into the kitchen and finds blood on the floor. The blood trail appeared as if something was dragged under the dryer. So Mom decides to see if something was under the dryer. The dryer does't work. Mom had the hose pulled out of the dryer vent, leaving an open hole that goes under the house.
My 82 year-old Mom lives alone out on the prairie southwest of Ft. Worth. My sister lives next door. There's a neighbor down the road. Now think about having a hole in your floor in your little house on the prairie. Now imagine what might come up through that hole.
Mom has been having a prairie rat problem of yet. Big ones. She traps 'em, clobbers them and poisons them. So when she pulled back the dryer, she found she had another solution to her rat problem presented itself. As he pulled back the dryer she began to hear a buzzing sound.
When she looked around behind the river she found a coiled and angry three-button rattlesnake who was not happy that he had been disturbed while digesting his supper.
Mom pushed the dryer back and apparently went back to watching TV. She was worried about the dog, Lilly, who is nosy and might get bit if she stumbled upon it. So two day later, Mom calls the cops and asks if they know someone who might remove a rattlesnake from her house. The police officer stumbled over that one and said he'd see what he could do.
Five minutes later two squad cars and a fire truck roared up in front of the house. Apparently one of the firemen was experienced in rounding up rattlers. He came into the kitchen where Mom was holding an angry Lilly by the collar with one hand and a hoe in the other. As the rattlesnake guy approached the dryer, the large cops and a fireman hovered near the door ready to make a quick escape if the young snake evaded his would-be captor.
The snake guy knew his stuff though and soon the snake had been dispatched. The first responders left, Mom nailed a board over the hole and then apparently went on unperturbed. By the time I called at the end of the week, she seems to have forgotten the whole incident. She never forgets to tell me who died in Keene last week, but the really good stories, like trips to the emergency room because she hurt her back falling off a ladder six months before, or the rattlesnake under the dryer story, Mom doesn't find interesting enough to tell me about.
I don't think she wants to worry me. I told her she needs to get a powerful pellet gun in case another rat climbs up on the fridge. After all, she's closed up the hole, so there's no way for them to get back out. I figure she could sit in her TV chair and pick them off as they popped up. After all, she doesn't have her own rattler anymore.
As I've said before, my Mom is a tough prairie bird. Gotta love that!
© 2018 by Tom King
* Some details of this story may be slightly inaccurate. Prying a story out of Mom can be challenging.