Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

September 29, 2013

Snakes in basement: Holding up under pressure

Lee Ward
The Independent

ASHLAND — After hearing about friends finding snakes in their houses, I declared if I found a snake in my house, I’d burn it down. At the least, I’d have to move.

Life has proven me wrong.

A series of events has let to my finally clearing out the junk in my basement.

Well, not me, but someone I hired to clear out the junk in my basement. I’m too delicate a flower to haul boxes and root around in a dusty basement.

There were two men in my basement, hauling junk out of the place and looking through boxes for things I might want to save. I was going about my business upstairs, probably playing a game on my laptop and napping with the dogs, when one of them yelled for me to come to the top of the stairs.

“We killed a snake,” he said.

While I was glad they’d killed it, there still had been a snake close enough for one of them to kill. And it must’ve been poisonous because country boys don’t kill them if they’re not poisonous.

“Where?” I asked.

“Down here,” he said.

“In my house?”

“Yes, in your house. It was a baby copperhead.”

That’s when the screaming began.

“It’s Ok. It’s dead. Come and look.”

That’s when words were audible among the screams.

“No! I don’t want to look!”

“Come and look. It’s dead.”

These people obviously didn’t know what they were dealing with, at least in terms of an hysterical woman.

The screams continued and the urges to come look at the snake continued until one of the men was standing at the bottom of the steps holding the dead little killer by its neck – its head was gone – and I was looking at it.

“See? Dead. Cut its head off. But, you understand,” he continued, “if there was a baby, there could be more and there could be an adult.”

More screaming and declaring I couldn’t live here anymore.”

“If there is another one, I’ll be back tomorrow and I’ll kill it. It’s down here, it’s not up there.”

 He tried to reason with me.

“What if it comes up here?”

“It’s won’t. It can’t,” he said.

“Promise?” I’m sure at this point, he began to understand who he was dealing with. But he’s an honest man.

“No, I can’t promise, but there’s a 95 percent chance it won’t happen and a five percent chance anything could happen.”

That seemed fair and reasonable to me and I didn’t have any option for me and my dogs to go someplace else for the night. I couldn’t just go to a motel and leave my babies here. What if a snake did come upstairs and bite on of them? I could have to act. I wouldn’t want to act, but I would have to. They would protect me and I would have to protect them.

Ninety¬five percent chance. I would have to take those chances.

We survived the night without an incident and the man returned the next day to thoroughly search the basement for other intruders. There was none. And there  was no fire.

LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2661.