Rose Petals: The Sleeping Giant in My Garden
Kathleene Runnels is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
It was late winter, early spring, and the urge to do some yard work was pulling me outdoors. Franklin had taken the kids on some livestock mission, so I got the hoe and began to target the unwelcome winter grass that had annoyingly found a way to lodge around the base of the house. The concrete foundation had a lip that jutted out a bit, and grass was growing out from there. It’s not easy to hoe against concrete, but try I did. Occasionally, I would need to reach down and pull up some stubborn clumps that wouldn’t let me get to them with the hoe.
Blithely, I pulled here and there. Then as I reached my hand down once again to pull up yet another clump, I encountered some other unwelcome tenant. As I touched, (Yes, actually touched), this odd-looking something-or-other that wasn’t grass but I didn’t know what it was, and yet I didn’t have presence of mind enough to think before I actually tried to remove it, I jumped back and wondered, “Wait a minute. What IS that?” I studied it another pregnant second or two before realizing, “Oh-My-Goodness! It’s a snake! Aghhhhh!” So I retrieved the hoe and proceeded to pull said creature out from his winter habitat.
It was THEN that I discovered this something-or-other wasn’t just any ordinary snake; it was a RATTLESNAKE, a sleeping garden giant! Okay. Now I’m speechless. There I stood, hoe in hand, mouth agape, thoughts racing frantically, “Franklin’s not here. What am I going to do? This thing needs to be killed. I don’t use the gun. How am I going to get it good and dead?”
Then, some kind of sense returned, and I finally had presence of mind to realize I had a weapon. I could use the hoe. (Novel idea!) So I began to chop and chop and chop, (Did I say I repeatedly chopped?), until this despicable creature was history.
When Franklin came home, (One might notice a pattern of his not being around when I encounter a rattlesnake), I took him to marvel at my trophy, one that I had killed all by myself this time, thank-you-very-much. But all he could say was, “Well, if it was a rattlesnake, I’ll have to take your word for it. It’s in so many pieces, I can’t tell.” At least it was good and dead.