“Okay, okay,” I said as I opened the fridge, and reached for the cat food. I turned around and stretched left to the drawer with spoons. Leaning down toward her bowl, I peeled the plastic cover off the can, dipped the spoon in and scooped out Lucy’s dinner.
“Hurry up!” she seemed to say as she threaded her way between my feet and settled in front of her bowl. Silence descended on the kitchen, and I exhaled.
I was tired. I was hungry. It was late. As I reached for a water glass in the cabinet on the far side of the kitchen, something on the floor caught my eye.
“That is a really big worm,” I thought. My next thought was “Gross. How did that even get in my kitchen?” And then I had one of those moments- you know- like the ones that people create using slow motion apps on their smart phones. I put my still-empty glass down, and looked left and down again.
“That’s not a worm,” I said aloud to nobody but Lucy. I craned my neck forward while simultaneously taking a step back. The dark brown and tan creature slithered closer to the molding at the bottom of the cupboard. I took another step away.
“I’m tired and hungry, and I really, really don’t want to deal with this now….” I thought, continuing to back up. My brain shifted into problem-solving mode.
“Shovel. That’s what I need,” I muttered, heading to the storage area beyond my laundry room. I kept one eye on the snake, who seemed pretty non-plussed about the situation. Grabbing the shovel, I headed back towards the kitchen, wondering how the snake was going to respond to being scooped up on a snow shovel.
I stood as far away as I could, and slowly extended the shovel on the floor toward the snake, trying not to make too much noise. I reached forward and the edge of the shovel touched the snake. He raised his head the way snakes do. I say this as if I am a snake expert. I’m not. But I think they raise their heads- maybe right before they bite?! My heart beat faster.
“Ugh. Please cooperate here. I’m tired. I’m hungry. It’s late,” I said to him sternly as I continued to guide the shovel under him and shimmy him into the center. The last thing I wanted was a snake dropping to my feet as I escorted him out of my kitchen. His head stayed raised. I held the shovel as far in front of me as I could without losing control of the handle, and I walked slowly, then quickly towards the door. I walked to the far edge of the driveway and put the shovel down. He wriggled off and onto the warm pavement.
“I’m hungry. It’s late. I’m tired,” I thought as I headed back inside. “And I’ve got something to write for Tuesday’s slice,” I said to Lucy as I closed and locked the door.
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