You know that saying, “Third time's a charm”? This past week I had an opportunity to change it to “Third time's the final warning!”. About a month ago the dogs and I were out at the Munson. They had bounded out across the field and I was walking the rutted road south. Just ahead of me sidled a snake across the road. He/she/it didn't seem too impressed with my presence, so I just patiently waited for it to get on across, and then gingerly made my way to that place on the road. It was still there, wound around a clump of grass. But being the intrepid walker that I am, I just drew a line in the dirt with the tip of my tennis shoe to remind me where to be wary, and I continued on south……until I found myself walking in ruts with tall grass on either side. Was it just the sound of the wind rustling through those blades of grass? Was it merely my vivid imagination telling me I heard something? Or was it the sound of a rattlesnake's rattlers I was hearing? Who cares about the source of the sound…I hightailed it back to the pickup, hesitating at the mark in the road for just a second, but not really concerned about the snake I had seen. It was the ones I hadn't seen and thought I heard that had me jumpy!
A couple of weeks later I decided the dogs needed to run, and so we returned to the Munson. I was still intrepid, because there aren't that many rattlesnakes around. Right? The entire walk went fine, until Sweet Pea went into the “point position“. (I didn't even know she was a pointer.) At her feet was a rattlesnake, albeit dead and only about a foot long. But a rattler, nonetheless. Shiloh just sniffed at it and went on, but Sweet Pea stood her ground and she was ready to kill it if it happened to come back to life.
This last week there was an evening that was so beautiful it was calling to the dogs and me to try our luck one more time at the Munson. I had traded in my intrepid spirit for leeriness, so I stayed behind the wheel and blessed the dogs as they jumped from the pickup and took off gallivanting. I slowly drove south, but then thought, “Good grief, Shelley, don't be such a ninny. Just go walking.” So I stopped the pickup, stepped out, closed the door and looked down. Looking up from its coiled position next to the tire, sliding its forked tongue in and out, was not a baby snake. Nor was it even a kid snake. It was an adult snake! I was surprised at myself, because I stayed calm. I slowly backed up, said a four-letter word that starts with S, and then jumped into the pickup. But then here came Shiloh, and he was running right at the snake. I had to open the door again so I he could jump in. Next came Sweet Pea, whom I scooped up by the scruff of her neck - she didn't even have time to look, much less point, at this cold-blooded reptile! Safely in the confines of the cab, I bravely rolled down the window and watched as the snake jumped out of its coil and headed east. Trailing behind it was a set of rattlers over an inch-and-a-half long! Needless to say, the third time was my final warning, and the dogs and I won't be returning to that quarter of land until long after Jack Frost has deemed it snake-free!
Staying on the animal theme - Shiloh The Wonder Dog hates flies. He has jumped over the divan, into the bathtub, and through the air in pursuit of the noisy insects. And he generally catches them, with his favorite being the big housefly. Well, somewhere along the way Shiloh has decided that the ceiling fan in the bedroom is a fly, too. So when I say, “Get that fly!” he runs into the bedroom, jumps up and down on the bed (looks like a little kid) and grabs at the ceiling fan chain. And guess what? He has caught it, turning the fan off twice now. The first time I found it motionless I wasn't aware of Shiloh's new talent. Then when I witnessed his feat firsthand I understood why I had found it turned off the first time. One more reason it is probably best I don't have kids - instead of saying “Shame” and admonishing him, I just have to laugh and look on in awe as he proves once more he is truly a Wonder Dog, even if his vocabulary gets a little skewed at times.
Boise City News