Monday, September 28, 2009

Black Snake

Above we have a view of the Chesapeake Bay from Aaron's Beach. Below we have a piece written by Chesapeake Bay Mother.It's about a legendary black snake and his descendants who still occupy our wildlife preserve yard. She's referring to a point in time when my parents lived in the house I now occupy, and my grandparents lived in the house my parents now occupy. Now occupies parents lived now occupies. Still.

Confused? Congratulations. You've successfully made it through the worst part of this post. Now let's join a coherently written piece, already in progress below.
Ichabod the Snake
by Chesapeake Bay Mother

Long ago, Father-in-Law claimed acquaintance with a member of the wildlife community inhabiting one of the many dimensions of his grassy barnyard. He dubbed his friend "Ichabod." I suppose it was the first name that occurred to him gazing into the eyes of a fully mature and robustly healthy black snake.

Father-in-Law seldom mowed the grass, owing to his gas-burning frugality, and when he did he used a bush hog.* As its name implies, a bush hog takes care of bushes and leaves grass still pretty high.

Perhaps it was Ichabod's effect on various visitors Father-in-Law enjoyed most. In particular, one of his wife's friends--a city slicker from California who never ceased recounting the horror of her encounter with Ichabod in the tall grass. As her voice climbed higher and her gestures became more frantic, I detected a naughty smile curling the corners of his mouth.

On meeting the big snake, I usually screamed, making apology to Ichabod for being so unsophisticated. He took it with his usual aplomb, disregarding me as he slithered on his way (no doubt some grumbling sexist explanation crossing his primitive reptilian mind).

Over the years various descendants of the original Ichabod, who we still call "Ichabod," remain with us. Granddaughter was nearly crowned by a tree-climbing Ichabod, who took an inadvertent fall. Everyone recovered. On the hottest day, one climbed our front steps and had to be removed gently with a shovel to the shady bank. Recently the young men reinforcing our shoreline with stones** described their chilly bumps when witnessing the size of an Ichabod in the brush. I explained he was a family member in good standing and meant no harm.

All the Ichabods love duck eggs and show up regularly to dine, the ducks objecting vehemently. What it must be like to cause such a stir everywhere you go! Since he hardly missed a day touting the serpentine magnificence of Ichabod, Father-in-Law would take pride.

Chesapeake Bay Woman's Ridiculous Footnotes

* Bush hogs are wild animals native to Virginia. They once roamed freely through the forests but now are confined to the most remote parts of the Blue Ridge Mountains. They are closely related to Smithfield hams.

OK, that's not true, I was just playing. But do you see how I can state nonsense with great confidence? It's a survival mechanism. Plus it makes me laugh.

The bush hog is a tractor attachment that is not a wild animal but is prevalent in Virginia. As are Smithfield hams.

**This is the riprap I was talking about in Thursday's post.

And now, I will stop filling this post with all of my riprap and let you get on with your day.


Grandma J said...

OH I am so glad I didn't know anything about Ichabod before blogfest....honest to God! Now I'm off to check under my bed in case one of his relatives hitched a ride back to texas. I hate snakes...more than alligators.

Mental P Mama said...

Y'all are funny.

Caution Flag said...

Well now. I am perfectly up to my eyeballs in the yuck factor. Hint: some family members do better when relocated a gazillion miles away- like maybe to Cuba.

Pueblo girl said...

I don't mind snakes, which is probably why my dog got bitten by a viper in my back yard, I suppose. I watched it slither slowly out of the box hedge one warm spring morning, got down on my hands and knees to check it's eyes and confirm that it was indeed a viper, and then left it alone to get on with it's life. Not so my dog, who discovered it later, and harrassed it until it bit her. I had to kill it then, envisaging endless dog-snake fights. It was the first animal I had ever killed.

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

Uhhh....I dont do snakes very well. Wonder if that is why my Little T tries to scare me with them? Sweet little child of mine!

veri word---- squela! Too funny!

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

I think there's a bush hog on display at the National Zoo in DC.

maria from nj said...

Evident where you get your storytelling talent. And ham, yum!

PS. Goes well in a sandwich with a large, cold Cokinger (veri word)

Patty said...

I like it! I also love the photo.

Patty said...

BTW: We are almost neighbors, in an Eastern Shore sense.