Yes, this is a true story.
“Yeah, okay, are you coming swimming?”
“Yeah, but there’s a snake in the pond.” He stays near the pond looking down. “Hey Mom. The snake’s playing with Lucky.” (Luck is a frog) There is a short pause, before my son starts screaming. “Mom! Mom! The snake is eating Lucky!”
I run to the pond to see nothing.
“Mom! I swear! He grabbed Lucky and dragged him under!”
I waited, and yes, in another minute the snake came up for air, Lucky firmly in his jaws. Now, all three of my kids are leaning over the pond. And who needs to figure it out? MOMMY.
Under Lucky goes again. “Go get Daddy,” I say, hoping they’ll all go running. Only lost one of them, though. I climb over the fence, and wait. Splish, the snake come up for air, and “Mommy The Great” swoops down and grabs this sucker by the back of the neck.
I shook the snake a little, figuring it would be more afraid of me than hungry for our little frog. No dice. It gripped down further, cutting into poor Lucky’s skin. I watched with horror as the snake arched, and more of Lucky disappeared inside.
My husband arrives and makes a sound akin to a gerbil screaming. “What do you want me to do?” he asks.
Well, I knew he wasn’t about to take the snake from my hand, and all of my kids are looking at me, while I’m holding this four-foot snake in the process of ingesting a favorite pet.
“Get a knife, and a bag,” I said.
My husband made a face, and left. I didn’t tell him I was going to hold the snake, and he was going to kill it. He might have run for the hills.
So, I’m standing there, holding this dern snake, thinking: It’s not really his fault. This is just nature, really. Lucky was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
My youngest son is sobbing.
I pried the stinking snake’s jaws open.
(Do you have any idea how long the fangs of a four-foot snake are?)
Lucky fell four feet to the decking with a splat of blood. Great. I just almost got bitten, and the frog is already dead.
My husband comes out with a giant Ziploc and a butcher’s knife. Relief crossed his face when he saw what I’d done. We slipped the “not too happy” snake in the bag, zipped it up leaving a little air hole, and the boys and daddy drove him a mile or two away to a bigger pond and let him go.
Like I said… It’s not the snake’s fault. He was just hungry. But I’d just rather he not eat one of my pets right in front of my kids, thank you.
I go back to the pond to pick up and bury Lucky, and he’s gone. There’s a trail of blood leading to the pond.
The next day, I went out and saw a little frog on a lily pad, with two HUGE scars on his back. I walked out slowly, and opened the fence. By now, all the other frogs have jumped and swam away. Not Lucky.
I crouched down, and put out my hand.
Do you know… that little frog swam right into it?
I picked him up, and bought him up to my face and he looked at me. Didn’t jump, didn’t scurry, he just looked into my eyes.
My kids all came running out. They wanted to hold him, too… but I said no. Let’s leave him be. He’s still hurt.
Frogs come and go when you have a pond. Lucky stayed all season. Every few days I would walk out, and put my hand in the water, and up he would swim, and I would hold him for a while.
You’re welcome, Lucky. We love you too.
- The Day I Saved The Frog’s Life (newbillthurman.wordpress.com)
- A Snake Named Neal (orangespicedrop.wordpress.com)