The thing you need to understand about me is that I am not a screaming, shrieking mess of a girl whenever I encounter creepy crawly things.
Snakes? No problem…as long as they do their job. In fact, I find them rather beautiful. When Kevin (yes, I name my “regular” critters) turned up in my kitchen early last spring with a slightly injured tail after a bout of warm weather was spoiled by a layer of slush (I suspect the kitties had something to do with the tail), I actually felt bad about tossing him out in the cold. Kevin is a garter snake who had a bad habit of sneaking up on me anytime I was putzing around in our Central-Missouri yard. Changing the bait in the mouse houses…there was Kevin (and if you think about it, it’s really kind of brilliant on his part…shelter and food all in one place); filling the bird feeders…Kevin sunning himself underneath; mowing the lawn...again, Kevin, racing around to avoid being sliced and diced (unlike someone I know, I will not chase down a snake with the lawn mower).
Spiders? They’re safe as long as they stay out of my house. They can be very fascinating…really! (Okay, so I have a problem with black widows, but we do have a history...)
Mice? Although I respectfully request that they stay outside, and, yeah, I will set out traps and bait to keep them out of my house, you will not find me standing on a kitchen chair screaming my head off if I encounter one. (Okay, so there was one particular incident involving my little sister…but, honestly, that little devil had it coming.)
BUT, there is one creature in this world that I will absolutely, positively not tolerate. The one animal on this planet that sends shivers down my spine. The one thing about which I’ve had recurring nightmares. And, this is crazy, but it’s also the one critter I have never seen in the wild.
Do not even think about telling me about what wonderful pets they make. Do not even try to play the Templeton card with me. Do not even attempt to get me to watch the movie, “Ben”. My response will always and forever be, “Oh, hell no!”
This whole issue can probably be traced back to a single statement made by my brother well over 40 years ago... (Yes, Wic, I blame you.)
So, when my husband reported to me that he rousted out one when he was cleaning the chicken coop…my exact words were, “IT MUST GO.” My husband, my hero, promptly drove to the feed store and picked up a trap.
Ironically, the trap caught nothing, but two of these little demons managed to ensnare themselves in a very large barrel, where they eventually died…stinking to high heaven.
Hah! Suffer you little bastards!
From this point forward, if I must, absolutely MUST, go to the chicken coop, I will be armed with one very gorgeous, but protective, dog, and one very sharp pitchfork.
I wonder if that rat snake we evicted from the bird house could be convinced to go mercenary?
My next purchase may very well be an automatic weapon.