Tales of the Queen Part IV
It’s been a while since Queen Nikki has had a tale for me to tell you about. That changed last night around 10 PM.
So, around bedtime Nikki wants to go out. Now that in itself is a bit unusual as she had already been out and hour before. Normally around 8 or 9 she’s down for the count as she is used to my strange work schedule. Up at 4:30AM sort of means going to bed early at night.
The huskies either have super hearing or some kind of 6th sense we don’t understand. Many times, they will perk up and want out. Even with two fans running they know there is a critter on the property. I didn’t even think about that and let her out.
15 minutes later I’m hollering out the door and normally she comes running inside and we go to bed. Last night no response and I’m wondering what the problem is.
Dressed in only shorts and barefoot I grab my tactical flashlight I keep by the door and head out to find where the Queen is, and why she is ignoring me.
I have a chain link gate that divides the pool area from the front yard. I leave one side of it open most of the time. Nikki is just past the opening staring at the wood pile stacked against the outer fence. She looks apprehensive and still ignores me telling her to come in.
I walk over shinning my light and don’t see anything that has her so interested in staring at the ground behind the open chain link gate. I shine my light over there and see a nice big fat Copperhead snake!
This happens to be my worst fear in summertime. Both of my other huskies have been bitten on the snout by Copperheads in years past. They apparently dove in on those snakes without thinking and got bit.
I guess having been a musician for years is the reason I started hearing that song in my head. “You never come back from Copperhead Road.”
Now I’m barefoot and there is no weapon close by. Nikki is watching that snake and he’s coiled up in the strike pose. I call her but she will not go past the snake even though there is a bit of room between him and the other gate that is still closed.
The Queen has shown why she is the Queen. To my knowledge she has never encountered a snake before but she had the sense to know it was bad medicine. She was keeping out of reach, and never taking her eyes off it. She seemed to understand better than me how far it might strike and was not about to run through the gate if she was in range.
The second gate has a rod that you push in the ground to lock it. It’s about 4 feet long and 3/8” diameter. Needing a weapon, I pulled this rod out of the gate clamps while keeping the flash light beam on that snake. The rod is a bit small and I wished I had a shovel but there are none in sight. I consider grabbing a log of fire wood and smashing him but he’s under and behind the gate.
I consider stabbing him with the gate rod but it’s not very big around and I might miss. I keep the light on the snake and prepare a stab with the rod close to him. The wanker is pissed off at the tac-light beam in his little golden eyes and I began to wonder how fast he is if I miss? His head is tracking the end of the rod and I can tell he wants to strike out at it.
Considering I’m barefoot and only armed with a metal toothpick and flashlight I reconsider my options. I need to get the Queen out of there and find a more deliberate weapon. Keeping my eyes on the snake and Nikki I get the other gate open (Which is stuck by the way.)
Nikki has enough sense to go behind me through the opening and head for the back door. I back up on the little dirt trail hoping I don’t step on one of the snake’s buddies. Back in the house I find my shoes and keys. I head out to the garage to retrieve my pellet rifle. A distance weapon that won’t have my neighbors calling the cops after I shoot it.
Ready to give that snake a lead enema I go back with the flashlight leading the way. The bastard is gone from his hiding spot! I look around for him but he’s melted back into the foliage to terrorize me again when I least suspect it.
Once back inside I check the Queen all over for snakebite and find none. I’m relieved that she had enough sense not to get bitten. I’m also a bit in awe at how smart she is. She knew that snake was dangerous and I think she knew I’d come looking for her. Like a pointer she kept her head down aimed at where that snake was. That’s probably why I saw it in the first place.
And that concludes another adventure with the Queen. I’m going to keep my rifle handy from now on…at least until winter when the snakes are gone.