When Sonny was in first grade we went to LegoLand. The rides were slightly tamer than all the ones at Disney World which just a few short years previously we had to berate Sonny onto – until it occurred to us that berating little boys onto Disney World rides was counterintuitive at which point we stopped and thus descended into an endless loop of It’s a Small World. That is, until Sonny noticed the snake charmer boy ‘bout round twelve and that was all she wrote.
So when LegoLand came around, Sonny put everyone’s mind at ease by stating that he wasn’t afraid of rides anymore. “Oh really?” replied Sissy. “But what happens if a mummy POPS! out at you on the Lost Kingdom ride?!”
Sonny calmly stated, “Well…then I’ll scream like a grown lady.”
Fast forward to a recent week-end this summer. I was sitting on the couch reading my Nook through my eyelids while the kids and dog were in the back yard. I heard my name, moaned low and urgent through the open window. Mmmmmoooooommmmm. Whose eyes don’t POP! open at a sound like that?! And that’s when I saw a rattlesnake about 4 feet long, coiled up and buzzing to beat the band*, striking at the knuckleheaded dog who was coming in closer for a cute and curious sniff.
I screamed like a grown lady.
I mean, I screamed like such a grown lady that was ever grown, that’s how loud I screamed. And then I ran out to the backyard to corral the dog who had tucked tail after strike two. The dog, who hates screaming (not that it happens a lot at our house, you understand) knew something was up and was trying to make his getaway from me as well. But eventually I was able to grab him, hoist him high and run into the house with the kids.
Apparently I had screamed like such a grown lady that four – count them, four – neighbors (plus someone’s granddaughter) came to the front door to see what all the grown lady screaming was about.
When they heard the garbled report of “rattlesnake in the backyard” they trooped through the house to see it. But it was nowhere to be found. So they trooped back through the house and out the front door and I politely walked them down the front walk. As I was returning, I spotted the last foot of the snake disappearing under our front porch. It must’ve come all the way from the back yard to the front porch and even though I noticed there was *no* rattle on its tail as it was slipping under the stoop, I had to scream like a grown lady again. Whereupon half the original group of neighbors (plus someone’s granddaughter) marched back to share that it wasn’t a rattlesnake, just a bull snake that makes itself look and sound like a rattlesnake.
Oh, oopsie. Ha, ha, ha. That’s awkward not knowing a pretend rattlesnake from a real one. So just ignore all the grown lady screaming then – my bad. Also? No wonder why we haven’t had a rabbit problem in the front yard this year.
*And yes, it is time to play our “80’s Song for Every Moment in Life Game” whereupon I will submit the winning entry titled “Keep On Loving You,” a song which first appeared on REO Speedwagon’s 1980 album Hi Infidelity:
You should have seen by the look in my eyes, baby
There was somethin’ missin’
You should have known by the tone of my voice, maybe
But you didn’t listen
You played dead, but you never bled
Instead you laid still in the grass, all coiled up and hissin’