Tuesday, November 15, 2011
So I gathered the electric cord and my electric trimmer and got to work zipping through the slender grasses that reach over four feet.
I felt a teeny something on the back of my right thigh and thought a leaf may be stuck to my pants. But my hands were full of fronds and the footing was leaf covered and irregular so I headed for the woods. All the while, my right thigh felt a slight pressure, as if something was floating over it. In my imagination, the leaf was on the outside of my pants, snagged in the fabric somehow which account for a sense of movement.
I dropped the cuttings in the woods and looked back to examine my pants. No leaf. I put my hand on the outside of my gray khaki pants. I felt something long and slender extending from under my buttock check to the back of my knee. Something moving. What lives in tall grasses? Snakes - green garden snakes or green grass snakes.
My heart raced. My sneakers raced over the leaves, skittering up the hill toward my back door. My hand tried to grasp what I thought must be the snake's head and pull it away from my body. Were they poisonous? Were any of my neighbors home? The elementary school teachers leave at 6:30 AM. I'd heard my next door neighbor's car rumble at 6:57 AM as I'd been in the midst of a "rah-rah" self motivating lecture to get out of bed. No one was home to help.
Wait - no one was at home to see me frantically unclasping my pants and unfolding them to my ankles so I can grab the snake and throw it deep into the woods. My fingers fumbled with the button and the zipper. Standing ankle deep in leaves behind Dave's house, I pulled my pants inside out and down, grabbed the long green intruder into my hand and just before I tossed it into the woods, discovered it was a long frond of grass. How it found its way into my pants will never be explained.
But the reason I am not a landscape artist is easily explained.