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Rowe: The sights and sounds of summer, part 4
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I don’t know about you, but, I'll be glad when summer is over.

There are some things I love about summer like a juicy tomato sandwich, sweet watermelon, fresh garden vegetables, trips to the beach and catching lightning bugs with the grandbabies, but there are also a few things I don't like about summer, specifically the heat, bugs, mosquitoes and snakes. Because of these things I tend to stay inside hiding where it’s safe ‘til cooler weather returns.

I don’t like snakes whether they're dead, alive or otherwise and I don’t care what size or color they are and if they keep venomous ones away. I just don’t like them and I'm a big scaredy cat where snakes are concerned. It seems the word may have gotten out about my snake phobia.

Just when I thought I was safe, I got quite a surprise recently while out and about. I was going through downtown Monroe on the way to visit family and was stopped at a traffic light, first in line and patiently waiting for the green light. As the pedestrians began crossing the street just a few feet in front of me, I noticed one was carrying something around his neck. As he got closer I could tell it was the biggest, scariest snake I'd ever seen and right then and there, time seemed to stand still. That snake was as big around as it was long and I don’t know how that little fella managed toting it. I'm a very careful driver but I thought I was going to run that red light before it finally turned green and have a terrible accident! As if that wasn’t scary enough, a few weeks later I saw that same fella and his snake again when I went through Monroe.

Needless to say, I won’t be back to Monroe again until I find an alternate route. Imagine my surprise when I picked up the local paper a few weeks later and on the front page were full color pictures and a story about this fella. I worked with a lady once who claimed she took her pet snake with her everywhere- -driving down the road and in stores shopping. I told her I'd seen a lady try to pick up a snake once to hold it and she acted surprised when it tried to attack her. I was the only one in the crowd who had sense enough to tuck in my tail and run the other way while they were trying to befriend it and figure out why it attacked.

This fella from Monroe has five snakes and a spider for pets and takes them along and walks to town with them and when he’s stopped he educates people about snakes. That’s one area I don’t need to further my education on but I am little curious. You can’t just take snakes anywhere but what do you do if you get hungry or nature calls?

My husband recently killed a snake and chopped its head off but left the body and head laying in the yard. I don’t know what he was thinking but if he was trying to scare the heebie jeebies out of me, he did a good job! Who does such a senseless thing? There’s a place for people who do such things and think snakes are nice and make good pets. After sleeping in the dog house a few nights, it’s a good bet my darling husband won't be doing that again. Just when I thought he was wising up in his old age, he slips back into his second childhood.

We used to have neighbors who had two or three big snakes for pets and I never could sleep well knowing those snakes were living in such close proximity. I had nightmares of those snakes getting loose and slithering across the street for a visit and that’s the reason I wasn’t very neighborly.

My husband’s cousin came up one year for Thanksgiving and brought along his snake. Luckily that was the year we had other plans and couldn't be there. I love my in-laws, bless their hearts, and they can’t help it because they're not normal, but that’s what makes them so special. That cousin finally came to his senses and got rid of that snake and now he's my favorite cousin and we're back on speaking terms.

My husband is determined to help me overcome my fear of snakes, but not nearly as determined as I am to remind him who the boss is, especially on this matter. I might seem a little crazy, but when somebody tells me they have a snake for a pet, I know who the crazy person is really. It’s just not normal to have a snake for a pet. But there are a lot of folks out there that ain’t exactly normal and their idea of fun is playing with snakes.

I thank God every day for blessing me with good sense and knowing how to use it because not everybody can say that! You might catch me at the beach, in the garden, catching lightning bugs or sitting on the front porch this summer but you won’t catch me down at the rattlesnake roundup.