Warning: If you have an aversion to slithering things skip this post!
If you followed my old blog, Grace in Bloom, then you know that this house has given rise to many varmint stories! We have had 'possums, snakes, poisonous spiders, and more! (I started a label called "critters") But, this story is not about this house...
We lived in South Florida for a short time in the year 2006. We saw a lot of neat reptiles while we were there... I think I saw a baby shark in the ocean... I even had a slight run-in with sea lice (after the season was supposed to be over). But, one thing I never saw in Florida was a snake.
BUT, Nelson had quite the opposite experience. He had his own little bedroom and his own big closet. We could not afford beds, so he slept on an air mattress. And, when it popped, he slept on the floor. He would come into out bedroom every night crying and screaming... every night! We thought he was scared of the new environment... scared of the storms (every night)... scared of his own shadow. Then, he started screaming and crying about the hissing sound he heard in his room. I went to his room (every night) and looked for the proverbial monster in the closet... never, never saw a thing! Then, he began to say he actually SAW a snake. I went to the room, I saw nothing. All this time, Paul was very weary with a job he hated, so I tried anything to get Nelson to be quiet. I let him bring his air mattress to our room. A few times I slept in his room on the floor. But, we never saw anything in his room other than the enormous cockroaches that anyone who has lived in Florida will understand! Paul and I were very unsympathetic, because we thought he was lying. We thought he was just having a hard time adjusting. Sure, we prayed for Nelson to sleep at night, but I never believed there was a snake in his room.
Fast forward a few years...
I bought a book for the kids (which I highly recommend) called The Encyclopedia of North American Animals, by Bryan Richard. I often read it out loud to the kids, and they also love to look at it in their spare time. Well, one afternoon Nelson cries out, "MOM! It's the snake that was in my room in Florida!" I went to look at the book, and I see the Eastern Coral Snake on the page... it makes its home in Florida! What's more - it is venomous and fatal to humans! Nelson told us there was a snake in his room, and we accused him if lying. He told me there was a snake IN HIS BED, and I accused him of lying. I was wrong... I could have been dead wrong!
The moral of this story is: If your child tells you there is a snake in his room.... coiled up on his floor... sleeping next to him in his bed... you might want to pray for his safety... and seal off any holes in the walls/ceiling/closet!