It’s 5:00 in the morning.
I hear the bedroom door slam.
Me: What’s the matter?
Him: Don’t come out!
Me: Why? What’s the matter!
Him: There’s a snake in the hallway.
Me: A what!
Him: It’s okay. He’s in the bathroom now.
Me: In the bathroom? Don’t let him out! Close the bathroom door!
Me: So you can trap him in there and the firemen will know where he is!
Him: What firemen?
Me: The ones I’m going to call.
Him: You don’t have to call the firemen, he’ll find his way back out to the yard.
Me: How exactly?
Him: He’ll go back the way he came.
Me: He will not! He’ll get lost.
Him: Why are women so afraid of snakes?
Me: Because if a snake crawls up a woman’s leg, he’s got somewhere to go. If he crawls up a man’s leg he comes to a dead end.
No, I didn’t call the fire department and, yes, the rest of that day I was afraid to sit on the furniture, lay down on the bed or take a shoe out of the closet. All the while my husband was sure that by then the snake had crawled back out of the house into the yard—where he probably lived!
But my husband was wrong.
That night I walked into the bedroom and there it was! Right next to the bed. I yelled at my husband to come in the bedroom quick and keep an eye on it while I ran into the kitchen to get a big Tupperware bowl to put over it.
“Why are you doing that?” he demanded.
“To trap it!” I declared while running back into the bedroom with the Tupperware.
“Here,” I say to him, holding the Tupperware out.
“Never mind,” he says. “It’s gone.”
“Whaddya mean it’s gone?”
“I picked it up and threw it out the sliding glass door into the back yard.”
I’m pretty sure it was a boa constrictor.
It was as big as my forearm.
Okay, maybe not that big.
But it was black and it had stripes on it and I had a good look at it and hoped I didn’t keep seeing it in my dreams all night long.
The next morning, we’re lying in bed and I’m still half asleep when my husband whispers in my ear:
“Do you know my Indian name?” His voice is soft and secretive.
“No. I don’t know your Indian name.”
He pauses for emphasis.
“Snake Thrower,” he says.
“Snake Thrower,” I repeat.
He’s proud of himself, I think.
“It’s a good thing you didn’t use that Tupperware,” I whisper back.
“Yeah,” he says. “I hate to think what my Indian name would have been then.”
Author: Carmelene Siani
Editor: Travis May