It was a dark and stormy night. No, no it wasn’t actually, It was a balmy, early spring night. The day had been cool, bright and sunny and just the perfect day to start clearing some plots for the extensive vegetable gardens he’d planned to put in.
The east side of the house proper, between it and the newly constructed compost bin, was rife with over grown honey-suckle bushes. Clearing this mini forest took him most of the day. Just before supper while making a delivery to the compost heap he startled a snake, who in turn startled him. Hard to say who was the most surprised. Being a novice about snakes he assumed that all snakes were poisonous. He knew better, but not being able to identify any snakes beyond perhaps the common garden snake he felt it the better part of caution to treat all snakes with caution. This particular snake was definitely not a garter snake; two to three feet long, fat and multi-colored, almost a diamond shaped pattern on his skin, and acting extremely aggressive put on quite a show. This sent him running to the garage to retrieve an axe with which to dispatch this seeming threat to his well being. Alas, upon his return, the creature had disappeared.
The snake, probably a puff adder or hog-nose was just taking its normal defensive actions, but not knowing that, the chemicals of fear were circulating wildly in the man.
After he finished supper and still mildly distraught as well as fatigued from his day’s labors, the thought of a fresh brewed cup of mint tea sounded like just the ticket to help sooth his nervous system. There just happened to be some new spearmint growing up underneath the hose hook-up by the cellar window. By the light of the moon he made his way around to the east corner of the house to where he had seen the mint growing. Being sure of the place, he did not take a flashlight. When he reached the place where the mint was growing he bent to pick a handful of leaves while inadvertently stepping on the garden hose in his flip flops. And then, AND THEN!, the hose moved purposefully. Holy shit he thought, jumping wildly away and running at the speed of light, or so it seemed. Jeeze, “I stepped on that SOB of a snake,” he thought
Breathing rapidly, in short gasps, he dropped the mint, tore through the front door and scaled the stairs two or three at a time and collapsed on his knees beside the tub where-in his wife sat, taking a bath and blurted out;" You won’t believe this, I just stepped on that god-damned snake in my flip flops!"
Stifling a smirk and refraining from chuckling, his wife knew he was in a terrible state from the ashen look on his face and the trembling of his hands.
Whether it was truly the/a snake or just a wiggly garden hose we will never know. What we do know was that the snake never showed itself around there again and there were no further chance encounters of that kind again.