Is this national goofy animal week? First, there are the innocently accused frogs; then came the sushi-loving raccoon; now it's ... wait for it ... don't get nervous ... they're really quite harmless ... snakes in the swimming hole. The girls told me about it last night, but I must admit I didn't take it seriously. I've known girls to get snake fever looking at big earthworms, so I listened to their breathless story and went about my business. I did happen to think that posting a "Beware of Snakes" sign down at the water's edge might have a deterrent effect upon erstwhile swimmers, but then I'd miss the entertainment value of kids actually seeing a snake slithering through the water.
This afternoon, three rather rugged-looking high school boys headed for the swimming hole to cool off after a hard day's work. Seeing them get out of their car, I sauntered across the yard to greet them. Two of the three were stripping down, getting ready to jump in when I approached. Standing up on the ledge looking down on the rock shelf, I asked their names. We talked a couple minutes, and deciding to have a little fun, I asked if they had seen any water snakes. They thought I was joking until just at that moment a three to four foot adder snaked his way across the surface at the base of the waterfall. A second, smaller one was making its way along the edge of the pool. Next thing I know, these two boys are standing next to me fully clothed. Their cooling dip had suddenly lost its appeal.
We had been wondering if for liability's sake we should post the land, but I'm thinking a sign warning people not to feed the snakes might just take care of the problem. At any rate, I had a bit of a chuckle at these boys' expense, and I might develop a bit of gratitude for my slithery friends who patrol the pool.