A Snake in the Sink

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Snakes have a bad rep and while they aren’t my favorite animal (I prefer elephants), I refrain from automatically thinking SNAKE—EVIL—KILL. Most of the snakes slinking around our farm are beneficial and do their part in keeping the rodent population in check. HOWEVER, being surprised by them in close proximity is not my idea of a good time.

So, when I went to rinse off the potatoes, recently reclaimed from cool storage, in the outdoor kitchen sink I was mildly alarmed as out of the corner of my eye I saw a snake disappear down the drain. No worries, it’s all good, it’s gone, Whew!

Silly me. Wishful thinking, it wasn’t gone only retreated to a dark, safer place. And, sure enough, when I went to rinse a cloth in the sink, there it was. Although not particularly pleased at being splashed with water, it wasn’t aggressive. Less alarmed by it’s unwelcome presence, I thought, hmmm—maybe it will find it’s way out. (Denial is such a reliable human response to the undesirable, but it doesn’t solve the problem.)

Now, my outdoor kitchen sink is not an artful porcelain affair like you might find in a bathroom, nor is it of the generously proportioned stainless steel variety common in kitchens. No, indeed, my outdoor kitchen sink is a heavy duty plastic square about 20 inches deep with vertical sides, mounted on metal legs and offering some degree of protection from this juvenile serpentes.

Today, I went to the sink to fill the dog bowl and yep, the little reptile was still in residence. What to do? Dog water handled, I considered making allowances for it. Should I go so far as to name it? After all, it’s not that big a deal. I can share my sink with a snake. I’ll adapt, be careful, alert and on-guard every time I go for water at this faucet. Sanity prevailed: no, no, no, I don’t think so. I don’t want a daily dance with this particular partner.

“Okay, so how are you gonna get rid of the snake?” I asked myself.

“I could find some very thick snake-proof gloves, an armored vest and a bee-keeper’s hood and simply pick it up,” was the thought that came back to me.

The truth is, I’m squeamish and easily startled. Snakes tend to wriggle (think violently thrashing) when handled by inexperienced hands. Besides that, I have none of those supplies on hand. Now what? Shift my thinking and my perspective.

Moving from “How can I get rid of this snake?” to “What’s keeping this snake here?” After all, it’s been hanging out here several days and how long, exactly, can a snake go between meals?

Ah, ha! Light-bulb moment—the snake cannot get out! The walls are too tall, too straight and too slick for egress. Solution: a discarded piece of wooden 2×2, complete with old nails, long enough to extend from the bottom of the sink over the tops and lid at an angle for an easy climb.

I just checked, guess what? The snake is gone—out of the sink, at least. Admittedly, I wonder where it went, hoping that hunger will drive it to hunt elsewhere.

The moral of the story? Work with what you have—your wit, your viewpoint, resources at hand and the laws of nature instead of controlling, forcing or accommodating the unwanted and the discomfort it brings along—even the small stuff.

Take a look—do you have an unwelcome snake lurking in your sink (think life)? What would it take to grant it the freedom to leave?

Leave a comment and let me know about your personal snake.

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