It was a lovely warm evening and I didn't want to sit in the air-conditioned living room watching a baseball game with my family so I announced that I was going outside to kayak around the lake. I put on my life jacket, grabbed the paddle and made my way down the path to the little platform where we've been keeping the canoe and the kayak, at the swampy edge of the lake behind our backyard. I shoved the kayak off the platform into the shallow water and prepared to get in when I noticed that there was water in the canoe from the rainstorm the night before.
I stood on the platform and leaned over to heave the canoe up into the air, where I could tilt it sideways and try to shake the rainwater out. It was a precarious position to be in, and the canoe was heavy and awkward. As I struggled with it my gaze landed on the ground below me that had been beneath the canoe...
And in that moment between seeing something and registering what it is, I almost fell over onto the several big black garter SNAKES that curled around each other in the place that had been under the canoe before I lifted it up. Then when I did understand what I was looking at:
**A blood curdling scream echoes across the lake**
Which came from me as I dropped the canoe splat back on top of them and went tearing back into the house where my husband and sons were ensconced in their climate control, oblivious to the drama outside the picture window.
They were happy to go outside and investigate the situation and retrieve my kayak and paddle. Jeffrey has offered to collect all of the snakes and relocate them but still I may never go outside again.