Monday, July 25, 2011

Snakes and Chickens

I am scared of many things. Spiders (see why here), scorpions (haven’t gotten there yet), Chows (we’ll get there, too) and snakes.

Shudders. Snakes are the worst.

Kris and I used to love riding bikes when we lived in the suburbs. My bike was particularly special; it had a long banana seat with a rainbow print, the frame was purple and there was a white basket adorned on the front. My brother and I would ride around for hours and wouldn’t come home until the sun set.

When we moved to the country, our daily two-wheeled adventures came to a near screeching halt. Roads covered in big white rocks were not exactly intended to have kids riding “city” bikes on them.

So we improvised.

Instead of riding on the roads, we rode on our seventeen acres. Most of it was flat, there were trees—ones we’d planted—for us to zip in and out of, plenty of obstacles for Kris to jump over and me to avoid at all costs. We couldn’t complain.

One sunny afternoon my brother was off somewhere doing something without me—shocker—and I was left to ride by myself. I took a familiar path down toward the pond, but something was wrong with my tire. I had a flat.

Stepping off the bike and into the grass with my bare feet—I know it’s stupid to ride without shoes, hush—I inspected the flat tire and decided it was time to turn around. When I did, a small bright green snake slithered right over my foot.

Picture a girl in a horror movie, screaming bloody murder while running away from the psycho killer behind her who’s carrying a knife. That was me. Except the psycho killer was a harmless green snake.

I left my bike in the field. My dad or brother or mom—who knows—had to go in for a rescue mission after I managed to recount the ordeal to them through blinding tears and wails.

So where do the chickens come in you ask?

Well, about a week later it was my turn to collect the eggs from the chicken coop before going to school. I carried my basket, took a slow stroll into the rising sun up the path to the barn, said hello to the clucking chickens as I passed them by, opened the big door and stepped in.

Setting the basket to the side, I grabbed some feed and filled their troughs. I wasn’t fond of the animals while I was in their coop, only when I was outside of it did I feel safe. Roosters are aggressive and hens—especially when babies are around—have been known to attack. So I spread the feed, grabbed the basket and went to the nests so I could get out as fast as possible.

I hated sticking my hand under the hens. Hated it. I swear those chickens looked at me liked they wanted to peck my eyeballs out. Can’t say I blamed them, I was stealing their babies.

When I slowly slid my hand under the hen, I did not feel eggs. Instead what I felt was scaly, warm and worst of all moving. I lifted the stupid chicken from her nest and found a snake. Black, huge and eating the eggs.

Have you ever seen a scared chicken? They raise their wings just a tad, puff out their bodies, and waddle like hell to get away all the while bock-bock-bocking like lunatics.

I was the chicken that day and the day the snake slid over my foot.

I am still the chicken. Any time I see a snake, I run like hell to get away. I may not bock-bock, but I wail and scream.

When I tell people these stories, I usually get a response like, “Snakes are more afraid of you, than you are of them.”

No way. Not possible.

If that were true, I want to know why they don't just stay the hell away from me?


  1. HA! I hear that all the time about spiders; "Sure they are more afraid of you!"

    Can't blame you for not liking taking their eggs, it is kinda strange to do...but for you to find a snake there...ahhhhhhhhhhhh

  2. Nice creepy story! I'm not the biggest fan of snakes either, but spiders are the worst for me! Ewww, just thinking about them gives me the willies!

  3. Would never say that, gosh I was scared from the bike incident, never mind putting your hand in to discover something else under the chicken! Ahhh! Squirm! No, no, no!

    But I do love hearing your stories, not least because they bring me to a different place in the world, in a different time, and in a way which gives me the opportunity to relive it a litte.

  4. Thanks Michelle and Katie. Spiders and snakes are the absolute worst for me. I have so many more snake stories to share. Just wondering which ones are the best.

    Snakes in the swimming pool? Snakes under the porch? Mating snakes in the farm fields we hit with our truck? Snake biting the cat? Snake biting me?

    EEK! I hate them.

  5. Great wee story, I can totally empathise I hate spiders and if I met a snake I'm sure I'd hate it too Lol. Love sharing your family memories there lovely. Well except the snake bit ;) x

  6. Anonymous7/25/2011

    Beautiful recreation of your childhood with your brother. Could totally picture the scene. And I love that last line! Genius lol

  7. Hi Krystal -

    You said, "waddle like hell to get away all the while bock-bock-bocking like lunatics." Hahaha. Don't tell me frightened little farm girls do that as well, lol?! If this is any consolation, I really am not a fan of snakes either. I'm curious why the chickens were not freaking out prior to your theft attempt. You would think they all knew a slimy slithering creature was in their midst. No silly, not you (teasing) haha. I meant the snake ;). Happy Monday to you. :)

  8. careful, this could qualify as a short story ; ) I'd like to see you slow down and tell the scene a little more slowly. MAKE me be afraid with you. don't just tell me you are afraid, show me. the second part did that more effectively, I like

    A lot here to work with. sometimes these true/recollection type pieces can be the most effective.

  9. Charlie, chickens are just plain dumb. Period. Stupid hen probably just thought her eggs were a bit mushy that day. Wasn't the last time that happened either. What's funny is my dad had built their nests high up off the ground. How the snakes got in there, we have no idea.

  10. There is NOTHING worse than reaching to collect eggs and coming up with a handful of snake. NOTHING. I think I was happier having that king snake loose in the house. Imagine me running around (more than once) with a pissed off snake flapping overhead because I'm too afraid to put it down. NOT GOOD. Grew up on a farm. Horrible, horrible (unless it happened to my grandma, at which point it instantly morphed into hilarious).

  11. Don't blame you Krystal. You wouldn't see me for dust.


  12. Anonymous7/27/2011

    I'll be honest - the chicken scenario would have creeped me the hell out!

    But I once had a pet snake, so for the most part, I think they're completely harmless. I've had to shake them out of my boots before, I've shot one once, and I've also had a beautiful one as a pet.

    Exposure to them at an early age helped.

    Spiders, on the other hand...

  13. Loved the story. So much detail. It reminded me of all the bike rides with my own brother; and yes, snakes were involved. ;)

  14. Thanks for popping in for a visit! You'll have to share your snake stories. I have many more.


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