Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Day I Ran Screaming From The Barn

I now have proof that even when you have your dream job there are still days when you want to run away screaming!! I am sure you are wondering what would be so hard about caring for retired horses all day that would elicit such a strong response. Read on and you will find out!

I had just cleaned stalls and was getting ready to prepare the evening feed for everyone. I open the door to the feedroom and without really looking I lean in and pull the lid off of one of the feed cans. Then I happen to look up and come face to face with one of my biggest fears - a SNAKE! The hot water heater for the wash stall is located in the feed room, and wrapped all around the pipes was this gigantic snake just a couple of feet away. I could have won an Oscar for best dramatic performance as I started screaming and slammed the door shut and ran out of the barn in a blind panic.

Jason has really been hounding me lately about having my cell phone with me. I hate being interrupted by a ringing phone when I am enjoying my time with the horses but I was soooooo happy that I had that stupid phone in my pocket. Jason had just gotten home so I called him in the house and told him to get outside now. Honestly I am amazed I needed to call as our house is right next to the barn and he should have heard the screaming! I then called my dad as well as I wanted a full court press against this snake.

Jason and my dad approach the feedroom door and somewhat hesitantly open it and peer inside. The snake is still in the back corner behind the water heater, wrapped around the pipes. They are unable to determine what kind of snake he is as his head/eyes are hard to see. So the snake extraction begins. My father fired off a couple of rounds with a .22 (no one needs to worry, in his 'retirement' he has been the firearms instructor for the sheriff's department so he is an excellent shot and well versed in firearms) and then steps aside to let Jason remove the snake.

Mr. Snake is attempting to slither under the drywall and head into the office that is on the other side of the wall. The snake made it about halfway in before Jason pinned him with his shoe. So Jason is ramming around in this little room occasionally throwing things out...a feed bucket....sponges, various horse medications and supplements......no one knows what is going on and he is cursing a blue streak and barking out instructions for tools like a drill sergeant.

I would go and retrieve the requested tool, and being the brave soul I am would then hand them to my 9 year old nephew Tristan so he could give them to Jason. I mentioned in this post that Tristan was here visiting for a week - his brother was very jealous he missed the snake incident!

Anyway, Jason was requesting a wide variety of tools including a handsaw, a shovel, a hoe and a pair of channel locks (which is finally what he latched onto the reptile with). Aside from retrieving tools I mostly stood outside the barn and shouted out helpful things like "have you gotten it yet?" and "is it poisonous?" (the answer is no by the way) and "will there be more snakes?" I think the one that really irritated Jason was "how much longer will this take?" Jason finally made a dramatic entrance into the aisle holding/throwing the snake out first in a pair of channel locks.

The snake in the aisle with the channel locks still around it. Some of the miscellaneous items that were removed/tossed from the feedroom in the background
My father was almost rolling on the floor he was laughing so hard, my eyes were as big as saucers and I was still screaming on occasion and my nephew was incredibly entertained by everything from the snake, to my reactions to Jason's language. Then my mom came down so she could see what all the excitement was about.

Jason and Tristan admiring their catch

Our visitor was about five and a half feet long. I will have nightmares for a long time! Now for all of you thinking that you will never step foot in Tennessee or send a horse here because we have too many snakes, the last time I saw a snake on the farm was in 1996. It was also a harmless snake but of course I was still terrified of it. If I never see a snake of any kind again, even a tiny snake, that will be JUST FINE with me.


Amy Bennett said...

Awww....I like snakes. It just looks like a corn snake. I like to keep the non-poisonous ones around since they help with the rodents! :D

You are funny....I wish I could have seen you!

Redsmom said...

Oh, I hear you girlfriend! I had one in the HOUSE one time which I found by stepping on it and having it slither around my leg! I evacuated my sleeping child and ran next door to the neighbors for manly assistance! Yours was much bigger by the way!! But, I'm still laughing "with" you!! LOL.

Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

Redsmom, if I found a snake in my house I would simply have to move! I know even the poisonous snakes aren't typically aggressive and blah blah, but I am just not ok with snakes. Some people are scared of the dark, of spiders, whatever - my "thing" is snakes!

Anonymous said...

Hehe. I am guessing Faune was like, WTF Mate!?!!

Holly Ratcliff said...

Oh, heavens! I hate snakes, I hate snakes, I hate snakes! This is such a terrifying story, and I could have done without reading redsmom's story about stepping on the snake and having it wrap around her leg. I'm about to lose my dinner right now just thinking about it! But, ultimately, as a barn owner, I have to agree with Amy and say that harmless snakes aren't so bad, considering their impact on the rat population. I don't mind if there are snakes around my barn, I just don't ever want to see them!!!

Holly Ratcliff said...

Alright...so, not TWENTY MINUTES after I posted a comment on this last night, I went outside to water my flowers. I was standing under a big tree in my yard, spraying the hose into a water feature and filling it back up, when something fell out of the tree and flopped over the rim of the fountain (half in the water, half out). It wasn't maybe 2 feet from me...and it was a snake. It had fallen right out of that tree, almost into the fountain, then fell from the fountain into some ivy and slithered off!!! It could have so easily just fallen right down on top of my head. I could not believe that, especially after I had just read this on your blog! I was so oogied out all evening long. :)

Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

I so know what you mean Holly. I am still in that mode where I think *everything* is a snake. A twig, a shadow, a leadrope - my first thought is snake!