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November 25, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Wiggling out of it

Like three owls suddenly facing a glaring light, that’s what we must have looked like.

“Who did it?”

Big eyed owl. ((Kinaganizutto released to PD/

If you stay silent, do you become invisible?(PD/


Stunned, but uncomfortably aware that an answer better be forthcoming.


The three of us, serious brother, my six-foot dad known for practical jokes, and me, the usual straight man, sat frozen. The phrase “mad as a wet hen” was probably created just for my mom.

“Who put the snake in the outhouse?”

Hen with piercing glare. (RGZV Frankenthal IMG026 (RGZV Frankenthal/

“I’m waiting.” Anyone would break under her piercing glare.(RGZV Frankenthal/

I mean, seriously? We were struggling not to laugh…or atleast two of us were. A snake in the outhouse? Something you always dreamed of doing, but never dared. Retaliation just too probable.

She was not amused. By the lack of confessions or the lack of action.

Eventually, like the villagers after Frankenstein, we heading down the wooded path with hoes and assorted snake motivators. The dog leading with determination to defend his pack against a snake of reported epic proportions.

Dad cautiously opened the weathered grey planked door.

Mayan sepent. (

This big. Possibly a species that had survived unseen for decades!  (Chatsam/

A long rather plump black snake was draped half across the sunny bench seat with half hanging down into the depths. I swear it lifted its’ head and said, “What? Occupied!”

Another charming experience of rustic living.

Can’t beat that.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Happy Thanksgiving Season. No matter the chaos, there’s always something worth giving thanks for… like indoor plumbing.

(Oh, for the not initiated into rural life, black snakes are the good snakes. You never kill them. They eat rats and poisonous snakes. I once saw a pair of Copperheads leaping and lunging like the Running W brand for half a block trying to escape a big black snake who never lost a hunt. That black snake generally lived near the giant ancient oak tree next to the house or in the orchard. We always were careful not to startle or step on him or run over him with the mower. And stayed out of his way if he was working. Never take your eyes off a moving snake. Don’t know what he’s herding.)

country road to gate to homestead. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permission granted.

“Over the river and through the woods….” Do kid still sing that? Hope so. ©










  1. Carrie Rubin / Nov 25 2015 1:56 pm

    Posts about snakes always make me avert my eyes a bit. They creep me out. :/

    Happy Thanksgiving to you!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 25 2015 3:11 pm

      Snakes give a bit of recoil, but it was such a “Beverly Hillbillies” event, I still laugh over it. Hope you get to parade around Thanksgiving snake free! Thanks for marching along here

      Liked by 1 person

  2. easyweimaraner / Nov 25 2015 2:05 pm

    my mom would probably look like a wet hen too… before this adventure would end with a chicken run :o)


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 25 2015 3:14 pm

      No chicken imitations, Easy! Snakes love chicken. There was lots of squawking and flapping, though. Thanks for feathering the comment nest


  3. sportsattitudes / Nov 25 2015 2:27 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, yours and all my fellow followers of life in “The Hedge.” Have a safe, healthy and happy one!!!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 25 2015 3:17 pm

      May all have safe travel, the warmth of friends, and rested eyes as there will be football…maybe some on the front lawn. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. memoirsofahusk / Nov 25 2015 3:03 pm

    Black snakes in Zambia – not good. Death in 15 minutes likely from Black Mamba bite . Although as I know having stood over a hole in a roack and watched one, too scared to move till dragged sprinting off by my husband, I know they’re not actually blackest black. But their heads are shaped like coffins.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 25 2015 3:09 pm

      Oh, now that’s a snake of a different social behavior. Each family has their black sheep, uh, snake. I have heard about them. (Shiver) In the movie “Kill Bill”. All the poisonous snakes here have a diamond shaped head….they must have the same headdresser? Whew. You’ve certainly got a story to write about with your experience – now that’s scary. Thank goodness for fast friends and husbands. Hope your week is snake free! Thanks for coiling up such a great comment


    • shoreacres / Nov 29 2015 5:21 pm

      In Liberia we called it the Three Step Snake. One bite from a black mamba, and that’s what you had left. Your fifteen minutes is a little longer, but at that point, what difference does it make? The only one I had a close encounter with was trying to come in the house as I was sweeping the floor. It had just its head inside, so I pulled the screen door closed, fast and hard. Poor snake.


      • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 29 2015 6:37 pm

        Hope it was more than a Gulf Coast flimsy screen door. Whew. You have more stories hiding than a small town library. Many waiting to check them out!
        No wonder the regional black snakes have such a difficult time making friends. Thanks for adding to the slithering comment


  5. Beth / Nov 25 2015 3:09 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving!!!

    A friend of mine and I were romping around the family graveyard in NE Texas where there sits a wooden outhouse. I walked over to get a picture and mentioned opening the door. That’s when she cautioned (having grown up in rural Oklahoma) to go slowly with the door – a snake could be in there. I looked appropriately city-girl alarmed. “A snake?” “Yes.” “In there?” “Yes.” “That’s a thing?” “Yes, that’s at hing.” I think made my best city-girl snake disapproving face, which apparently doesn’t ward off snakes as well as a hoe I’m told. Ahhh, city living and indoor plumbing indeed!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 25 2015 3:22 pm

      Send the dog down the trail first. Never turn over a rock or log with your hand. A whole different view of nature HA HA
      Yes, indoor plumbing is a wonder…we were always happy to get back to it. Character building. That’s what they said. That and motivation to get educated in order to get a good job so you could have “luxuries” and comfort. (Hmmm, maybe not such a bad plan for parenting?) Have the best gobble day ever! Happy Thanksgiving!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. D. Wallace Peach / Nov 25 2015 3:12 pm

    Ah, the memories. We had a predominance of spiders in the outhouse. Thank goodness, no one ever thought to add any additional creatures! Happy Thanksgiving.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 25 2015 3:24 pm

      Spiders! Arrrgggh. You could bang on the door/side to run snakes and critters, but those spiders just got crankier. No Charlotte’s Web there. Thanks for adding that hilarious memory.

      Liked by 1 person

      • D. Wallace Peach / Nov 25 2015 4:03 pm

        We kept a toilet brush in there for the sole purpose of web destruction.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 25 2015 4:07 pm

          They said pine branches worked the same…but as a little kid, there was great concern of spider mutual defense armies. (Nothing like a big brother lived to torment..)

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Robin King / Nov 25 2015 5:03 pm

    EEEEEEEE!!!!! No…no…no. Snake? I once found a tiny frog (maybe it was a toad; I ran too fast) inside a toilet paper tube in the “outside bathroom” (not quite an outhouse but the vibe was the same) at the lake in Wisconsin where we went some summers. That was my limit, as far as critters in bathrooms go. Can only imagine a snake incursion there. When I was in high school I stood next to a girl in chorus who had a pet snake (about 6 ft long and pretty beefy, no idea what kind) that she brought to rehearsals in a large laundry bag. She’d set the bagged snake on her feet and it would coil itself (and the fabric of the bag up) up & around her knees. I guess it was trying to get closer to the heat from the stage lights. ANYWAY — Hooray for snakes that do good things! Copperheads — Yeeeow. Lots around here, I think. ::shivers:: Wonderful post!
    🐍 ⬅ On my screen that’s a snake emoji. I hope it shows up for you, too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 30 2015 4:16 pm

      What’s with high school kids and giant snakes. I had a friend who had a giant boa – and took it to college where it lived in her closet. not far from here there’s this small-ish thin high school (usually sullen – but aren’t they all ) boy who often sits on his front porch step with a big snake around his shoulders. Sometimes there’s a girl or two standing there timidly watching and going “Ewwww”. He’d probably do better with a big fluffy cat or happy dog if he wants them to stick around?
      That snake draped in the outhouse was a real I Love Lucy moment. He looked very confused before slipping off.
      Thanks for slithering by!


  8. sustainabilitea / Nov 25 2015 5:11 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Just getting ready to leave for Ohio and a few days with family.



    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 25 2015 7:21 pm

      Safe travels. May all the snakes you encounter be gummy ones. Hope your Thanksgiving if full of friends, warmth and fun

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Kourtney Heintz / Nov 25 2015 8:21 pm

    That’s pretty hilarious. Thanks for sharing. And letting me know what a good snake looks like. 🙂


  10. EllaDee / Nov 25 2015 11:06 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving. Thank you for the story. We too like to keep our black snakes onside… not too close… because they are better than the browns.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 25 2015 11:15 pm

      The brown ones here are totally unwelcomed and risk dire fates if I see them. Only really good thing about winter is the snakes hibernate and you can walk around the fields better.
      Thanks for the holiday wishes and may all your snakes be gummy ones!


  11. reocochran / Nov 26 2015 1:08 pm

    I remember that song and am smiling since I did go over a river to get to my grandparents’ house inMidfletown, Ohio. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 26 2015 2:37 pm

      We never had any snow here, but that screamed that song all the way there. It always brings smiles. Thanks for riding along


  12. Kate Crimmins / Nov 26 2015 2:14 pm

    Locally we only have harmless little garter snakes although I’m not fond of any of them. I don’t remember them hanging around the old outhouses but it’s been decades since there were any outhouses around. Happy Thanksgiving and use the indoor plumbing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 30 2015 4:19 pm

      Outhouses are gone with the wind…bound to be blown over with the winds we’ve had. Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving! Thanks for adding a slinky comment

      Liked by 1 person

  13. jannatwrites / Nov 28 2015 8:11 pm

    Oh, gosh, I’m very thankful for snake-free indoor plumbing! However, I’m also thankful for all the memories growing up of my mom freaking out over nature (like her standing on the couch squealing because a lizard ran behind the TV and my brother and I were commanded to GET IT!!! Which we did, as soon as we stopped laughing enough to move 🙂 ) Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving, Phil!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 30 2015 4:21 pm

      Modern facilities are something to be thankful for ( and those who’ve never experience the rustic ones, cannot imagine HA HA)
      Lizard chases. RC Cat actually blinked and said, “Now that’s entertainment.”
      Thanks for adding a running comment


  14. marthaschaefer / Nov 28 2015 10:51 pm

    Now that’s a problem I haven’t encountered lately, here in the woods. Oh wait, just last year there was at least one snake living in the wood pile and I had no problem with mice….hmm


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 30 2015 4:24 pm

      You had a winter boarder in the wood pile determined to earn his keep. Wood pile residents are another reason for our rule of “never turn over/pick up a rock or log without kicking it or moving it with a hoe first” Mice running would freak me out as much as a snake.
      Hope you had a great Thanksgiving and are staying warm and snug as this front moves that way. Thanks for rolling by with a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Aquileana / Nov 29 2015 12:31 pm

    “Who put the snake in the outhouse?”… “I’m waiting”…- Anyone would break under her piercing glare-…

    I´d say that this sums it up quite well… what a surreal incident… but as you well know… sometimes Reality might go far beyond than Fiction ☺
    Fun, great reading. Sending best wishes, dear Philo., Aquileana ⭐ .

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 29 2015 6:39 pm

      I think we lived a cartoon strip life. One thing that I wonder about now is that so many kids “live” in front of computer/small screens that all the adventures are swirling around them without participation. If authors write what they experience/know, then in the future reading materials may be rather dull? HA HA. Thanks for hiking in to chat. Hope you are doing well.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. shoreacres / Nov 29 2015 5:26 pm

    I’m back home from my Thanksgiving travels — and five full days of no internet, tv, phone, or newspaper. It was just slightly disorienting, but I stopped twitching after about the second day. There weren’t any live snakes, though I saw a couple of good, artistic ones. There was a lizard, a lot of caracara, one tree frog, and some deer. Oh — and some sandhill cranes that were just too far away for a decent photo: especially with the drizzle and mist.

    I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. I’m going to try and find a hook for some of my photos, before I get into the meat of the trip, including raising the bloody arm flag at the Presidio. What could be cooler than that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 30 2015 4:31 pm

      This drizzle and mist is putting the chill on things. Sounds like a great time. I think society in general would do better if there were days where every single thing was closed – lack of noise from tv, phone, computer and all of it would only be icing on the cake. Any wonder why people are so stressed everyday and many unable to tolerate quiet? I took a little break which was totally enjoyable. TO turn on the news yesterday for “waitress shot in smoke free restaurant for asking man to put out cigarette”, and “man kills and feeds son to pigs”…and well, you know.
      Plugged in that bubbling fountain….
      Thanks for soothing the comment pile

      Liked by 1 person

  17. PiedType / Nov 30 2015 7:06 am

    City girl here. I don’t do snakes. Period.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 30 2015 4:35 pm

      We always accused Dad of dragging us to the farm to impress upon us that we needed to work hard in school to be able to get a good job – so we wouldn’t have to live with snakes in the outhouse. Not a bad plan. Thanks for slipping in to chat


  18. 1bl0gr3ad3r / Nov 30 2015 5:50 pm

    Shudder… thankfully never experienced an outhouse snake. Mine was going in the chicken house to gather eggs. Always careful about reaching into nest boxes i could not see into. Then the worst part… got inside, gathered the bounty, only to find a “giant” blacksnake draped over the door had me trapped inside. Could i crawl out the chicken door? Nope. Plan B? Screamed my head off till help arrived! Thanks for reminding me how great indoor plumbing AND store-bought eggs are!! 😊


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 30 2015 6:29 pm

      Do some of those snakes have a sense of humor? I can so see that happening. Screaming was a good plan…you had eggs! Thanks for tromping cautiously over to chat


  19. jmmcdowell / Dec 2 2015 11:59 pm

    Outhouses and snakes, not a good combination on any level! Poisonous spiders also not good. 😉

    So far, we’ve only seem something small like a garter or grass snake at the new house. But given all the hawks, I have to believe there’s a good crop of snakes around, too!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 3 2015 12:25 am

      Snakes or mice as prey? Both need to stay outside far far away. (Go hawks!) While we only “roughed it” on weekends and holidays, it was enough to build a real appreciation for running water and electricity. Thanks for running by



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