The day the snake hijacked the four-wheeler

By Amy Joles
About four years ago, I wrote a column about the moles that had taken up residency in my yard.
As a result of the column, I received all sorts of helpful suggestions and even a couple of businesses offered mole control services.
I took a couple of the suggestions, disregarded others, but never hired anyone to seek and destroy the rodents.
I still have mole issues—but, not nearly as bad.
In fact, the moles and I have reached an agreement to co-exist. However, there will be no such agreement with the newest addition to my yard.
It seems that my humble garden shed—and veggie garden, and flower bed—has become home to a lovely batch of snakes. A rotten floor has given them access and so they have decided to make themselves at home in the warmth of the shed.
The problem was on the back burner until one decided to hitch a ride on our four-wheeler over the weekend.
The slithery serpent decided to make his (or her) grand appearance just as we prepared to yank a dead shrub out of the ground with our four-wheeler. My husband and I were just about to wrap a chain around the shrub when I saw the dastardly reptile.
“Eeee Yaaa Ewww! Snake!” I shrieked.
My husband kicked up his heels, jumping forward in a performance that rivaled any Riverdance performer.
“What? Where? Quit it!” he yelped as he leapt, chastising me for scaring him with my garbled scream.
“SNAKE! SNAKE! Eeee Yaaa!” I responded, jumping and pointing.
In a moment, it was gone, finding a hiding place next to a stack of pavers.
He (or she) had taken a ride from our shed to the house on the four-wheeler and decided to make a slithering leap for cover when the coast was clear.
We pondered where the serpent could be when suddenly, a little yellow and black head revealed its location next to the house. It sat there, poised to make another great escape.
If you’re an animal activist, my apologies, but I’m just not cool with an 18-inch garter snake sashaying around my potted petunias as I water them barefoot.
And so, I probably don’t need to go into detail on the snake’s demise, but I will say it involved a shovel and a swift chop.
One snake may not seem like such a big deal; but, this isn’t the first snake we have seen this year. There have been sightings in every corner of the yard. It seems that the snake population has exploded.
My mom, who lives near Gagetown, said they have seen more snakes than usual this year. Their English Springer Spaniel has hunted one down almost daily—Brady, the “super Springer snake hunting machine.”
He can’t be stopped until he finds a snake and gives it a good shake. Done. Dead.
And yes, old Brady will be visiting my yard so he can hunt down my backyard creepers with his keen nose. When we jack up the shed to put a new floor in, I want that dog right by my side!
Go get ‘em, boy!
Amy Joles is the editor of the Tuscola County Advertiser. She can be reached at

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