Part Three, Mrs. Erg and the Snake(s)

This isn't really one incident, it's a synopsis of a series of incidents that have occurred over the last 40 years that are so similar as to be one recurring event. Our own little Groundhog Day. As I have said before, Mrs. Erg hates snakes. She hates them with a bone deep fervor that will not allow for the thought that maybe they deserve to have a life of their own. Nope, she doesn't care about any benefits they may provide, she just wants them dead. Don't even think about trying to use logic to change her on this because it is a bone deep fear and hatred that contains no logic. Only instinct, emotion, and ridiculously fast reflexes.

On the other hand, my completing half loves flowers. She loves digging in the dirt, planting, moving, tending to her plants. The last time I counted she had 25 or so individual beds but it is one of the few things she'll spend money on so I'm not about to complain. There are people in the neighborhood who route their walks so that they can see her flowers. Of course that many beds requires a lot of digging, and while I'll help when she needs holes dug in hard dirt most of the work is hers. She do love getting her hands in the dirt. Her weapons of choice are a couple of trowels of different types and a grubbing hoe. All this is where the snakes that supposedly come under my purview enter the picture. She will often dig one of the things up in her pursuit of a beautimous yard. Most often it is a six to eight inch brown snake.


Nowadays these little dramas start for me with a granddaughter running in the house, just a pantin', to tell me that Grandma needs help killing a snake. I'll save any work or play I might be involved in and wander out to do my part. No, I don't hurry. I did way back, before I became more experienced but now, no, I don't hurry. It's not because I don't love my wife. As I have said elsewhere, I love her to the point of silliness, but I have come to the realization that there really is no need to rush. On a few occasions I was already outside when the action started so I am quite aware of the sequence of events that are played out. It begins with Mrs. Erg digging up a snake.


A small child scampers off.


The chops are a grubbing hoe being put to murderous use on an innocuous, unassuming, unaggressive, and thoroughly unlucky brown snake. With a very short, very violent, very loud future to not look forward to. I tell you truly that one time I actually saw her bring that grubbing hoe into action and it was nothing but a blur.



Sorry dear, but you've got the grubbing hoe and even if I had it I don't see any pieces left that are big enough to chop.


Actually, those are just the pieces that are still falling back to earth.

Oh. What took you so long? You know I'm scared of them.

I don't think it's humanly possible to get here before you start in with that grubbing hoe.


Well, I can't stand the things.

I'm fairly certain they realize that before they die.

It then becomes my job to dispose of the remains. Finding all the pieces can be a problem.


I represented this as a sequence of steps to make it easier to describe what's happening. The reality is more like:


This is accompanied by the inaudible sound of snake giblets raining on the ground.


Thus ends* this little trilogy of flora and fauna and Ergs. Whether or no it has any value or contains any lessons is up to you. For myself I make sure that a grubbing hoe is never brought into the house, for fear of what might happen if my wife spotted a lizard. And I make sure to never startle her when she's working in her flower beds.

*With the understanding that if I make beaucoup bucks off this I can probably come up with three or fifty more.