Tuesday, May 29, 2012

An Unexpected Guest

This will be a short post.  I have to write it with my eyes closed because the pictures give me the willies and flashbacks to the Great Trial I experienced this morning.  Please forgive any oddball spellings that may appear.

This morning when I went into the chicken coop, this is what I found.

Noone should start their day with a snake, so I ran away.

When I came back with the chickens' food and water and, of course, a camera, it was still there.

Have a closer look.

Now close your eyes, shudder, and say "EEEEEEEEEEEE."  You can even flap your arms a little bit if it helps. It's entirely natural and exactly what I did both times that I saw the snake.

After I took a few pictures, I explained to Mr. Snake that freeloaders were not permitted in the coop and that he would have to sleep elsewhere from now on.

He immediately slithered to the other side of the building, which was not quite what I wanted, but which does make sense because I was blocking the main door.

Here he is looking out the trap door into the chicken yard and weighing his chances against nine fat, bored birds.

Can you see him mentally calculating  his odds of survival?

He must have come up with a big, fat zero, because he retreated to the corner.

Then he curled up and pretended to be asleep.

Drawing on all of my maturity, self-control, and nature skills, I chucked a few pellets of chicken food at him to get him to move, but this only made him curl up in a smaller slithery-snakey heap.  I think he even gave me a fake snore.

Fortunately, I had remembered to bring a shovel in case he needed some help finding the door. I had been worried about scooping him up when he was on the wood because I didn't want to pinch his skin (that really hurts; I wouldn't wish that on anyone).  But in his new spot, I could scoop him up with some of the shavings and not have to worry about hurting him.

Evidently, he didn't feel as confident about my skills.  I got him about half-way on the shovel and then he slid off and zipped out the chicken door . . . only to find himself surrounded by fat hens fixing their beady eyes on him and tweaking their heads from side to side  while they wondered whether this was something to eat or something to chase.  As much as I love my birds, their eyes lack the warmth and intelligence that you might find in a dog's eyes, or the imperious calculation of a cat's eyes, or even the dim curiosity of a hamster.  Chicken eyes have one expression--beady-- and it makes them look slightly unhinged.  If I were lying on the ground cornered by a giant flapping feathery thing with those eyes, I would flee and that's exactly what Mr. Snake did.

He slipped right past all those chickens-- who were still busy wondering and not quite ready to act--under the door to the run and right into this very convenient hole in the foundation of the coop.

I hope I don't see him again too soon.