That's what happens when I try to condense two weeks' worth of experiences into one post. I forget some.
This part of the story occurred on Monday, when Tim was doing some straightening on the patio. He'd been after me to get rid of a wooden half-barrel planter that was starting to fall apart. I hadn't planted anything in it in a good year, so all that was in it was some old dirt and some very healthy weeds. Or so we thought.
I told him it was fine with me if we got rid of it, so Monday afternoon he tilted it up to roll it over to the garbage can. It was so rotten however, that the bottom fell out, along with lots of dirt and A SNAKE.
Startled, Tim let go of the planter. Which proceeded to land on THE SNAKE.
I was doing laundry in an adjacent room, so the way I found out all this was happening was when I heard Tim say, "Everyone inside, quickly!" Of course the kids had been outside watching intently while all this was happening.
I came out and saw the back third of a snake and then the front third of a snake poking out from under the planter. Fortunately for the snake, the planter was so rotten that parts of the wood had broken away, but I still can't imagine that it was very pleasant to be stuck under half a barrel full of dirt. As it was, the snake was so stunned that there was much debate as to whether it was still alive. Until it MOVED.
So then we couldn't decide which we liked least: a dead snake which we would have to dispose of somewhere (the garbage doesn't come for another week, and our dog and sometimes the kids go walking all through the periphery of our yard), or a live snake which might go far away to find a home where people don't drop planters on him.
I'm sure this was some non-venomous kind of snake, but he was 2-3 feet long, so there was much discussion.
Finally Tim lifted the planter back up off of the snake, who was still so stunned that he just lay there, adding to the debate over his vitality or the lack thereof. However, when Tim tried to pick him up with a stick, I guess the snake decided that he'd better give it a little extra effort, because he tried to go under the house. Unfortunately for him he got stuck in another flower pot when his head could go through a drainage hole but the rest of him couldn't (that's right, planting flowers has an unfortunately low priority in our household, so there are lots of empty pots sitting around. Which will henceforth be stored in a locked room, thank you very much).
Tim finally got him into a third flower pot and was taking him over to dump him in our neighbor's ivy (don't feel badly for this neighbor -- in 18 mos. we've never seen him walk in his yard, only riding his lawn tractor, even when pruning his bushes, so I imagine he would be safe from any snakes who could hear him coming a mile away, and even if they wanted to attack him, they would have to jump up about a foot to reach him on top of the tractor), when the snake LEAPED out of the flower pot about 2 feet into the shrubbery. Bye bye, snake.
And there was much rejoicing.