Booker, our Siberian Husky, perked up his ears and began trotting over to a quiet section of woods in Wild River State Park. Assuming an innocent, but targeted, squirrel was about to either have a heart attack or set a new land-speed record, we attempted to bring Booker back in on his retractable leash. In response, Booker took the stance. What is the stance? Itâ€™s the one where he braces himself and nothing short of a bulldozer is going to budge him from what heâ€™s focused on. Sled dogs are like that. So is my husband when an attractive woman goes by, but I digress.
I tried to locate the squirrel while my husband dealt with Booker. A rustling sound on the ground about ten feet away caught my attention and I had to squint to make out the movement.
â€œOh my gosh,â€ I said. â€œLook at that snake!â€
My husband, because it wasnâ€™t a 5â€™11â€ blonde rolling in the leaves, said, â€œWhat snake? I donâ€™t see a snake.â€
I pointed, gave made-up GPS readings, and pointed some more. He let out the slack on the leash and Booker bounded over to the snake. He even more quickly bounded back. Everything about Bookerâ€™s body language said, â€œOh my gosh! Look at that snake. Itâ€™s freakâ€™n scary.â€ He no longer wanted to go over there. In fact he wanted to move on, and the sooner the better.
My husband visually honed in on the snake, and of course wanted to get closer. The bull snake (I think that is what it was) was not happy about becoming a tourist destination and coiled into the strike pose. He hissed and rattled his tail. Naturally, when faced with an angry snake my husband did what any sane person would do. He moved in even closer, camera in hand.
â€œHoney,â€ I said, â€œPlease stop. Youâ€™re making him violent and he will spring at you.â€
â€œHey,â€ said my husband with camera plastered to his face, â€œThereâ€™s two of them.â€
I watched as one of the snakes squiggled away through the leaves and underbrush. The other, the one Iâ€™m assuming was the interrupted Lothario, was seriously pissed. Hisses echoed from its cavernous open mouth. Somehow, I understood. Who wants to have their sex life turned into a photo shoot? (Since someone named Kardashian just came to mind I will retract that.)
â€œHoney, please donâ€™t get any closer. Heâ€™s positioning to strike.â€
My husband ignored me and moved in just a little more, camera in hand.
â€œDo you remember the snapping turtle from a few days ago?â€ I said. â€œYou were going to move him across the road and now understand why they have the name “snapping” turtle? Same thing!â€
â€œWow, you should hear how loud his hissing is,â€ said my husband.
Bull snakes are not venomous, but that doesnâ€™t mean you should encourage a bite. Booker figured that out in two seconds. I knew that even though my range of snake lore is mostly limited to garter snakes and tiny red belly snakes. What didnâ€™t my hubby understand?
A. Interrupted snake sex is not a good thing.
B. Maybe this wasnâ€™t the best time for a man/snake selfie.
C. The snake was eyeballing the distance to bite my husband in the nether regions. Fair is fair in love and coitus-interuptus.
At last, after a few snaps of the shutter, my husband came back on the trail. â€œThat was a BIG snake,â€ he said.
I wanted to punch him in the arm for making me worry. He always makes me worryâ€¦like the time he wanted to get close and take videos of a flash flood that was washing out trees, and well, pretty much everything in its pathâ€¦but thatâ€™s also why I love him. Heâ€™s his own person and taking a little risk now and then lends excitement to life. That said, the next time Booker decides to check something out I hope it is an innocent squirrel in need of a quick run. Enough with the snapping and hissing creatures!
Loving my husband? The best part of my day.