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Snakes, Frogs, and Dogs

Michele CookIf you are squeamish about snakes, frogs or vomit, you should stop reading now.

This story involves all three.

The Dogs

It was a warm September evening. My husband and I did something we rarely do — we dressed up to go to dinner.

Him in slacks and a light blue button up shirt, me in my favorite pink dress. I had even curled my hair and made a respectable attempt at putting on makeup.

We were just finishing up a few things when there came an ungodly racket from the porch. The dogs were going bananas barking up storm.

This wasn't the "Someone's here" bark, nor the "Hey there are squirrels out here" bark, this was "Intruder, intruder, sound the alarm!" My husband raced out the door to see what was going on, a few seconds later I heard him holler "SNAKE!"

The Three Amigos
The three amigos. Photo by Michele Cook.

The Snake

In our house we have a rule. I take care of snakes, he takes care of spiders.

This is mostly because he doesn't like snakes and spiders send me screaming into the next county. So, when I heard the call, I slipped off my heels and headed out to handle the offender.

The dogs were still barking when I came out to see what monster had dared invade our back porch. I was greeted by a black and brown snake, standing up, head spread, hissing and spitting at the dogs like a cobra.

"Ooohh it's a hognose snake!"

Hognose snakes fascinate me. They are not poisonous, but they put on a heck of a show when threatened.

They stand up, spit, hiss, and strike at the offender. If that doesn't work they roll over, play dead, and puke up their last meal.

So far the dogs were believing the threat. They barked but were scared to get too close the snake. I put my husband in charge of corralling the dogs, while I scooped up the snake to relocate him to a more remote area of the property.

hognose snake
A hognose snake. Photo by Flikr/Hunter Desportes.

The Frog

Once I had a good hold on the snake, I headed to the edge of the property where the dogs collar system doesn't reach. My husband bravely followed, leaving a good 10 feet between us.

The whole way out the snake struggled. I might be saving him, but he didn't believe it.

I set him gently down on the grass and he graced me with his final trick. He turned himself over, writhed around, and promptly chunked up his last meal. A whole frog.

By this time, my husband was peering over my shoulder and we were both shocked to see a complete frog come out the wrong end of the snake. Shock turned to awe when we noticed something interesting about the frog.

"Is that thing still breathing?" my husband asked.

I looked closer. The frog was indeed still breathing.

There we stood, me in a pink dress and bare feet, him in his dress slacks and button up, bent over a half-dead frog. The snake took our silence as a cue to exit stage left and slithered off to parts unknown. The frog too recovered from the ordeal quickly and hopped off into the grass.

As for my husband and I, we did eventually did make it to dinner, happy no frog's legs were on the menu.