Tag Archives: Snake

Visiting Grandmother’s House Part~2

17 Jul

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites


My cousins and I thought it was great fun playing on the hay bales stacked in the barn and shucking corn for the cows and horses.  Sometimes we were allowed to let1 the cows out to pasture in the mornings and round them up back to the barn for milking in the evenings.  I even tried my hand at milking, but never really got the hang of the technique.

I remember an occasion when one of my uncles found a four-foot corn snake in the chicken coop eating the eggs out of the nests.  The custom was to put white glass eggs in the nests to encourage the hens to lay, and you could see 2where the snake had swallowed a couple of the glass eggs, making bulges along its length.  My uncle grabbed the snake by the tail, swinging it around over his head like a bullwhip, and then snapping its head off in a motion like cracking a whip.  Yuk, what a mess!  Egg yolk went everywhere. Then, after the snake finally stopped squirming, he retrieved the glass eggs and washed them off to use again.

Back then, many of my uncles and some of my cousins chewed tobacco, and of course I was “encouraged” by some of the kids my age to try it.  I didn’t have too much trouble with it until one day when I tried chewing and swimming at the same3 time.  We were having a ball in my uncle’s pond when I swallowed a mouthful of water and my chaw of tobacco.  Later that evening, my mother kept wondering why I felt sick to my stomach.

Another sport we engaged in was the building and shooting of “Firecracker Rifles”.  We would notch a short piece of 2”x 4” for our rifle stock (it really didn’t look anything like a rifle stock), and then attach a 2’ or 3’ length of ½“ pipe to the notch by bending nails over the pipe.   Red M-80 firecrackers fit nicely into the pipe, and had strong fuses that wouldn’t go out inside the pipe.  We would use marbles that would just fit the “barrel” of our homemade rifle.  And, there you have it.

5Amazingly, if everything was fit together tightly, and your aim was any good, this homemade rifle could put a marble through both sides of a 1-gallon can at short range!  Pretty scary when you think about 7-10 year olds doing something like that.  Of course, our parents had no idea we were playing with anything this dangerous, or we would have been in BIG trouble.

We also used those same M-80 firecrackers in contests to see who could blow a tin can the highest, and because they were waterproof, we would use them to blast crayfish out of their holes.  As you read this, I can just hear you saying, “Oh, boys will be boys!”  Yea, but it would surely have given my mother a heart attack if she had known what we were up to.

Well, those are just a few wonderful things I remember my cousins and me doing  during those family trips to my grandmother’s house in Louisiana when I was a kid.  Of course, some of those experiences may have had a profound influence on me as I grew up; because I ended up working with explosives for most of the 35 years I spent as part of  the U.S. Manned Space Program community.  But, then that’s another story for another time.

Grandmother Lites at age 90

Grandmother Lites at age 90

—–The End—–


The Razzle-Dazzle Snake Mover

11 Jun

My Take

DiVoran Lites

I pull the chenille bedspread up to make the bed and there’s a baby black snake the size of a shoelace lying on the floor. When the light hits him, he wiggles to the baseboard and tries to go under the wall-to-wall carpet. Thank you rug man for making it tight.  What do I do now? There are two things I know I will not do. I will not touch him and I will not kill him. I hear one of our cats meowing for her breakfast from the closed studio. Another thing I will not do is let the cats take care of the problem, as much as they would love to. That would end in death for the small creature that is already running for his life. I send up a quick request for guidance. Oh yes, maybe I can herd him out the back door with my razzle dazzle, the long-handled duster Aunt Judy brought me from Colorado all those years ago. It is made of soft fuzzy fibers.

We’ve zigzagged about two feet when he slips under the door of an adjacent closet where I keep the vacuum cleaner. I stand before the door my heart pounding like a tom-tom. What shall I do now?

I’ll brush him out of the closet and we’ll be on our way to the back door. It’s only a few yards. I move the vacuums out, no snake. I reach down for a tissue box in which I’m storing plant sticks. There he is. I jump back a bit. He makes a break. Fast as a flash, he’s under a paper grocery bag we’ve made into a hide-away for the cats to play in. One cat is still meowing, “Let me in.”

I breathe deeply, and hold for the count of seven. I need Bill, but he’s still asleep. Oh, well, it’s almost time for him to get up. I knock on his door. “Will you help me? There’s a little snake in the house.” I go back to my post. “I’m in here,” I call out. “He’s under there.”

Bill has an extension to pick things up with if you can’t bend over. He goes to the studio to get it. Lily, still meowing dashes in. I wave the razzle-dazzle in her path. She brakes and skids to a halt, her claws scrambling on the kitchen vinyl. The other cat peeks around the corner. Bill picks them up one by one and puts them out as he goes for the extension.

We lift the sack and unveil the pitiful, rumpled shoestring in the corner near the built-in bookcase. Bill reaches out and carefully lifts the snake in the extension. The snake wiggles and drops to the floor. While he is still disoriented Bill secures him again and carries him out the front door in the soft rubber grippers. He sets him down in the flowerbed. Mission accomplished.

Matthew 6:33-34

English: Line art drawing of a black snake.

English: Line art drawing of a black snake. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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