To celebrate the 4th of July I took the day off ~ no harvesting, planting, tilling, weeding ~ nothing but farmer slackerdom. A day of showering in the morning, only wearing boots to feed the chickens and no timers beeping every twenty minutes to remind me of the next task. A beautiful thing!
It was mid-day before I did my morning chores. The chickens squawked shamelessly. They followed me from coop to coop scolding me for my tardiness. Five dozen eggs filled up the basket but one was missing. A rogue chicken, who likes to express her own independence, hops the fence each morning and lays her egg in the tractor shed.
I carefully picked my way into the back recesses of the shed, squeezing past the mowers and a tiller, and peered down into the nest. Coiled and fat, a black snake was mid-swallow ~ Ms. Independence’s morning egg was disappearing in front of my eyes! Grab the tail and shake the egg free, I thought. Okay, crazy! Instead, take a picture.
By the time my phone’s camera focused a dime’s worth of the eggshell was visible. The snake’s mouth stretched wide as it worked the egg down. I leaned in close, closer than I could ever imagine being to a big black snake… and darn if HE wasn’t afraid of ME!
The snake regurgitated the egg! Spit it out, slobbery but in perfect shape. In no time the black ribbon disappeared out the back of the shed. My picture didn’t do the scene justice but my real prize was the egg. I snatched it up like found gold.
So proud of the daring rescue I called my mom to tell her the story. What are you going to do with it, she asked? I suppose eat it, seems a waste to let it go. You know, she laughed, you’ve sunk as low as… Yep, a snake’s belly. Welcome to farm life!