An open letter to the current occupants of my backyard


To the slithering inhabitants of my lawn:

Moving out to the middle of nowhere has had its perks: less traffic, quieter nights, and all-around peacefulness.

That is, until we invaded your space by building a house you moved in.

For three years I lived in blissful ignorance to your existence, believing that the most terrifying occupants of our property were the occasional wasp or grasshopper. I would walk through the yard without a care in the world, sometimes even barefoot. I considered the overwhelming scent of our dog to be enough repellant for you to not even think about sliding over into our grass.

Silly me.

My utopia came to a crashing halt this summer with the discovery of your thin, discarded shell, laying on the rocks by the front door, serving as a threat to my outdoor afternoons. I refused to go out the door for days without sending out Feta the snake-hunting dog before me. Eventually I worked up the courage to be able to walk through the yard again.

Over Labor Day weekend, my parents came to town for a visit, but only gave me more bad news: my mother had found a home of yours. Next to our house. Luckily Steve promptly filled it and I had a vivid dream that night of you being trapped down there for eternity. I considered our yard cured of you, especially after cutting the grass myself and seeing no sign of you on a hot autumn day.

But then yesterday happened.

The day that I will not soon forget.

Yesterday was the final straw.

It hadn’t been a tough enough week with Steve having surgery and mostly being out of commission. You had to startle all three of us on a leisurely walk through the neighborhood. I found it fitting that you scrambled back into the yard of the most ridiculous neighbors on the street.

But, no, that wasn’t enough for you.

As Feta was grazing in the yard, you slithered through the grass, leaving your scent to intrigue her, luring her to ignore the many attempts to call her inside. Since Steve was passed out from our stroll earlier in the day, this meant that I had to walk into the den of despair known as our backyard.

And then there you were.

Coiled and waiting to scare me and live in my dreams for weeks.

I ran.

And now I refuse to go into my own yard.

Steve tried to find you and bring you to an untimely end with a shovel, but you were no where to be found. I’m sure that you were back in your lair, informing your compadres of the girl who lives in the house and how you don’t even need to move to make her scream.

So, now, garter snakes, I am asking you to leave.

This is your only warning.

If you choose to not heed this warning, you will be found and you will be destroyed.

By my ferocious, reptile-chewing Beast:

On second thought, maybe I’ll just run you over with the lawn mower.


2 responses »

    • One of the intruders appeared this weekend, but luckily I wasn’t around to see it. Husband + shovel = warning in the field to its slithery friends.

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