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Fuller: An interrupted highlight

Fuller: An interrupted highlight

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Due to the pandemic, every day is Groundhog Day — Groundhog Day with a lot of heat and humidity.

I have a couple of highlights each day that never get old but will one day go away, and they both involve my sweet Abigail.

She’s growing up so fast, which is something you always hear, but never truly realize until you experience it firsthand. It’s sad, maybe even a little depressing, but I will cherish every moment I have with my princess.

The first highlight is when I pick her up from daycare each day. I wrote about this recently. I squat down, painful knees and all, when I hear her on the other side of the door with a member of the staff.

As soon as she comes through the door, it’s a full-on sprint to daddy’s arms. Man, daddy loves that.

The other highlight is when I put her to bed each night. I lie in bed with her for as long as it takes. She’s a little cuddle bug. Or is it snuggle bug? Or both? Either way, it’s divine.

The other night, it was interrupted by Lucy.

“Jody, I need you. There’s a snake,” she said.

I jumped up to save the damsel in distress — err, the dog in the driveway.

I had a feeling it was a copperhead. You’d think being way out here in the country and so close to the Tallapoosa River and its many streams and creeks that our place would be crawling with snakes, but it’s not. This was only the seventh snake we’ve seen up here in a little over two years.

Four of those were big, harmless rat snakes, two were tiny, harmless DeKay’s brownsnakes and one was a medium-sized copperhead that escaped before I could kill it.

Yes, I said “kill it.” If you know me, you know that I hate killing snakes. In fact, I’ve only killed one in my life, and that was when I was 17 years old. I was snake-ignorant, but in hindsight I’m fairly certain it was a rat snake.

But I would have killed that copperhead last year, and I would have killed that snake the other night had it been venomous only because of my family and the animals. It would be too risky to try to relocate it. I would have killed it with a very long hoe to protect my family.

I don’t believe in killing any snake, venomous or non-venomous, just for the sake of killing one. We’ve seen rattlesnakes and copperheads on roads in isolated areas and stopped to look at them safely from the car. We’ve even admired their beauty, because they are beautiful in their own way, and most are non-aggressive. Some can be defensive, but most just want to get away.

I was happy to see that the fella in the driveway was a rat snake — a rather long one at that. It was kinked up, but unkinked, he would have been a 6-footer.

I used an old wooden cane to gently lay on the back of its neck while I tried to pick it up, but it kept trying to escape. I’d never had a rat snake try so hard to get away. It was trying to get under the truck, but that just wasn’t a good idea. He was not happy.

I could have just let him go since rat snakes and snakes period are just so good for the ecosystem. Rat snakes keep the rodents at bay. DeKay’s brownsnakes keep bugs and slugs at bay. And, copperheads keep visitors at bay. I’m kidding. We love visitors. We also love our chickens and our eggs, which is why I had to relocate him.

He was long and strong, so it wasn’t easy to turn the steering wheel. It took several tries for me to get out of the driveway, and by the time I was ready to pull out, I realized that he had finagled his tail between the seats and wrapped it around some of the metal down there.

Literally, half of its body was below the seat. It took a while, but I eventually figured out where it was wrapped up. It took even longer to get it unwrapped. Like I said, it was strong. I almost gave up and just let go. I figured he’d come out some time.

Finally, I got him loose. This time I held his neck and tail simultaneously, but he was still trying to get away. They are usually very docile. This one was not. I stopped about a mile and half away from the house and walked up onto a hill and put him down and away he went. He didn’t even say goodbye.

I got on back to the house and washed up, because I was rather stinky by now. We got resettled and told Abby that if she ever sees a snake to get away from it immediately and to let us know, and then, we got back in bed.

Abby wanted to watch Mickey, so I obliged. Hey, it’s her world. I just live in it, and it’s an honor to do so, because she is the highlight of my life.

Jody Fuller is from Opelika. He is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier with three tours of duty in Iraq. He is also a lifetime stutterer. He can be reached at jody@jodyfuller.com. For more information, visit www.jodyfuller.com.

Jody Fuller is from Opelika. He is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier with three tours of duty in Iraq. He is also a lifetime stutterer. He can be reached at jody@jodyfuller.com. For more information, visit www.jodyfuller.com.

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