The black snake, stretched out on the hard clay, was nearly five feet long. We stood watching to see if it would slither back toward the woods or toward the basement entrance of the house our son and his family had been building.
Our son's father-in-law, a seasoned outdoorsman, looked at me with my hands over my mouth stifling screams and said, "That snake is just as afraid of you as you are of it."
"Lies!" I thought to myself. "He's a good man, but he's lying!" I knew he was lying because at no time did the snake have hands over its mouth stifling screams.
He also said black snakes are good because they eat rats and mice. A lot of animals eat rats and mice, but that doesn't mean I want them near the grandchildren.
He said the snake would not bother anyone unless it felt cornered.
Sometimes in life things are said that you never forget_that a black snake will not bother you unless it feels cornered is one of them.
Several weeks later our son's family called to FaceTime with us. They were huddled together in front of the phone. The littlest one had something to say.
"Snake in dah cah," she whispered.
The others sat frozen as Daddy Bear unpacked the story. He, Mama Bear and the five cubs were making another pilgrimage to the big box store in town for building supplies when Mama Bear, wearing sandals, felt something slither across her feet. She looked down and saw a black snake, whereupon she screamed, "Somebody ate my porridge!" No wait. Wrong story.