Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cobra in the Kitchen

"That's not good," David calmly announced last night. "A snake just went under the stove."

He had left the kitchen door open when he went out to check on the chickens. As he came back in, he caught sight of the snake slithering under the stove.

I left him to keep watch on our unwelcome visitor while I drove over to college to recruit some expert help. Several college guys were standing around in front of their dorm, and five of them jumped in the vehicle when they heard about the excitement.

Japhet held up his six-feet long stick ready for the kill as two of the guys warily pulled the stove away from the wall. No snake. Perhaps it had crawled up inside the stove? We turned on the oven and the burners to try to force it out. The guys banged on the sides of the range. We cautiously opened the oven door and the stove's lower storage drawer. No snake.

No snake should be good news. But David knew the snake had gone under the stove, and he knew the snake hadn't come out. There was a snake in the house somewhere.

The guys were convinced the snake had crawled behind the kitchen cabinet next to the stove. The cabinet is nailed to the wall and has a wooden backing, so I wasn't so sure.

Then one of the guys found that he could slide a long, thin, piece of wood into the narrow space between the base of the cabinet and the wall. If the piece of wood could get in there, so could a snake. Besides, the wooden backing stopped about three inches from the floor. There was open space under the bottom shelf behind the front cabinet facing.

"We need fresh milk," Japhet declared. "Milk will drive out the snake." When pressed for his reasoning, Japhet just repeated, "Snakes and milk don't go together. If you'll pour milk around, the snake will come out."

How do you argue with logic like that when there's a snake in the kitchen? The guys poured milk on the floor and tried to splash some behind the cabinet. We waited. No snake.

Next step: Pull the cabinet out away from the wall. David and the guys carefully pried the cabinet loose and pulled it back. Japhet took the flashlight and and peered underneath. "It is there!" he announced. He jammed a stick against the back of the facing board a few times and then pulled out the mangled reptile.

Our snake experts identified it as a cobra and cheerfully posed for a photo on the back veranda--but they wanted David to hold up the snake!

We rewarded our brave rescuers with a bag of candy and sent them back to their dorm. I mopped up the milk and the cobra blood, grateful that David had seen the snake go under the stove and wondering where it might have turned up if he hadn't seen it . . .


Amy in Edmond said...

I showed the picture of the snake to my kids and they were disappointed it wasn't bigger.

Bill wanted to know if it tasted just like chicken.

Eric Livingston said...

Yikes. That doesn't sound like much fun. I thought you guys had a cat? Sounds like the cat is laying down on the job.