Sneaky Slitherers


At the risk of doing a second story on basements within a week, here goes. When I lived in southern Maryland, we had a ranch style house with a walkout basement, on 3 acres of woods. It was a beautiful lot, with lots of flora and fauna to enjoy. Unfortunately, many not-so-desirable things came along with the beauty of the woods. Squirrels once decimated our basement’s insulation and window screens while we were on vacation. We lived there through the 7 year locusts, which were small dinosaurs with wings, that chirped constantly. I saw spiders the size of your hand, and bats hung out in our attic and chimney. But my least favorite visitors were the snakes. I am really petrified by snakes.

So…one fine spring day I came home from work, and headed down to the basement to do something. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something black flash near the wood rack near the door. With a little poking around, I saw it again, and clearly identified it as a rather large black snake. Needless to say, I was up the stairs within seconds, screaming all the way. I slammed the door shut at the top of the stairs, and got a towel to shove under the bottom edge of the door so that snake could NOT get into the upstairs, as I was sure he was hell-bent to do.

I paced and fretted until my husband got home, and could rid the house of this frightening guest. When he got home, I explained rather frantically what I had seen, and pleaded with him to get the snake out of the basement. He went downstairs, and I could hear him moving things around, and talking, trying to coax the snake out. He thought it was so cute and was talking to it like it was a little toddler! He came upstairs, and said the snake was all gone. He couldn’t understand why I was afraid of a little old snake. He described it as a fairly small red or light brown snake. WHAT??!!?? I begged to differ with him…I SAW it very clearly…how huge it was, and how black it was.

After some more banter about the size and color of this snake, it was clear that the snake he coaxed out of hiding and took back outside was NOT the snake that I had seen near the wood rack. I made him go back down there until he found and extricated the BIG, BLACK snake. After much searching, he finally found it and got rid of it. You would think I would have felt relief that our house was now snake-free, but I was even more freaked out, knowing I had been in that basement with not one, but TWO snakes! And who knows how many others were actually there, if I didn’t even see one of the ones he found! That towel stayed under the door for a long while.  


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