A Recent Visitor

There have been many visitors to our house since January – usually they are invited, or at least expected. This one was neither.
It was a quiet morning and I was working in the kitchen and doing laundry. I noticed Prissy sitting in the dining room, staring at something. Actually, she was crouched in front of the china closet, staring under it. Of course, she ignored me when I asked what she was looking at. Finally, I got down on my hands and knees to see for myself, but it was too dark. Getting up, not an easy task, I fetched a flashlight and got back down on the floor again. With the light I could see a dark lump of something that looked like a partial skien of black yarn.
Suspecting that it was not yarn I got up again to get a tool – a yard stick. When I prodded the lump, it uncoiled and quickly slithered out from under the china closet and recoiled behind the dining room door.
This was not exactly a new experience, but the first time I had to deal with it on my own.
First I went and got the broom and dustpan. When I attempted to sweep it up onto the dustpan, it quickly slithered back to the protection of the china closet. I realized the dustpan handle was too short. Then I remembered the snow shovel.
Instructing Prissy to keep an eye on our visitor, I retrieved the snow shovel from the garage, which I wedged under the door to form a ramp. When I first tried to coax it onto the shovel, it turned and slithered out at the far end of the china closet and stretched out on the floor. Barricaded by the broom, it finally returned to the cover of the china closet. I kept poking and prodding until it finally slithered onto the shovel. I quickly grabbed the shovel, slapped the broom on like a lid and dashed to the front door which, thankfully, I had propped open in preparation for this maneuver. I managed to reach the grass just as our visitor slid off the shovel. Last seen he was rapidly disappearing under the bushes in front of the house.
As I said, this was not my first such experience, but my first solo. Tiger and Prissy have been bringing in small garden snakes every Spring during the rainy season when the back yard floods. But this was the largest one I’ve seen. Usually they are only about 9 inches long. They are black with narrow light green stripes down both sides. I’m told they are not harmful, but they just don’t go with my decor.
Needless to say, Prissy lost her privilege of having he back door slightly open so she can come and go as she pleases. Now she must beg to go out and beg to come in. And she has to go through Customs when she re-enters.

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