Red ants or a green snake – who is the lesser evil?

I have predicament. I’m stuck between deciding who the lesser evil is – red ants or a green grass snake?

Let me start from the top. When we got home from Germany I noticed a huge colony of red ants living on, in, and around the bush closest to our front door. Yeah, the one I brush into from time to time, stand next to as I load and unload kids, bags, groceries, toys, etc. The one Lance plays near? The one I set Vivian in her car seat next to as I carry kid crap stuff in and out of the house? Yeah, that’s the one.

I told Jan we needed to go out and get some sort of insect repellant because red ants bite, the bites hurt, and I didn’t want myself, him, or either of the kids to get bit. We spend TONS of time in the front yard and I didn’t need any pesky pests raining on my parade.

Then little by little I noticed the colony slowly dwindling. (You know where I am going with this right?) In my mind I thought the colony had died off or moved onward in little ant mecca to another land lawn.

Anyway, yesterday Jan trimmed all the bushes in our front yard. He cut the large overgrown ones back, including the bush nearest to our front door. Later that afternoon when I unassuming came back from a walk with Luke the pug, I saw it: A green grass snake. Aahhhhhhhhhh! Terror shook me out of my own skin, I jumped high into the sky, adrenaline surged through my body at such a high rate I could have run the 100 meter dash out of there in Olympic speed.

For all intensive purposes I will now refer to the green grass snake as a him.

Somehow I managed to slip passed him on tip toes into the house as fast as I could. I left him coiled around one of the branches as I breathlessly told Jan what just happened. I told him the basics – there’s a green snake in the bush and I just had a heart attack.

“Oh geez,” he said laughing. This is not the first time he has had to deal with my snake phobia. He calmly got up and handed Vivian to me. Great, I’ll hide behind her I thought. Lance was napping and missing out on all the action.

The three of us stepped outside and onto the porch. My enemy was still there – coiled around a branch. In a moment of bravery I went back inside, settled Vivian on the baby gym, and grabbed my camera

Then I took a million pictures because that’s what I do in stressful eventful situations. I’m still too scared to upload the pictures, but take my word, they exist.

After some discussion, I wasn’t ready to kill him. After all maybe he was the one who did me a favor by eating all the red ants. But I also wasn’t ready to cohabitate in such close proximity with him just yet. So I had Jan displace it the backyard, except it slithered out of the Pampers box he used to capture him in before he got all the way down the hill.

Last night, I couldn’t fall asleep. I had visions of snakes wrapping themselves around my ankles and up over my body as they eventually strangled me to death. I can no longer walk barefoot, even in my own home. I jump from couch to kitchen to room to room not allowing myself to stand next to anything that could possibly have a snack lurking under it ready to attack me. Even changing Vivian’s diaper has been a challenge – there could be  a snake underneath the changing table people!

Outside, every stick is a snake. Inside, every cord is a snake and every toy I accidentally step on is a snake. When one of my kids touches my arm, yep, it’s a snake. When Jan pretends his fingers are a snakes and runs them up and down my back as he tries to hug me, they are definitely snakes. Not cool.

At this very moment in time I am still racked with such fear that I’m sitting cross-legged at my computer because there are snakes lurking out of every corner of my house. Obviously.

I have problems. I know.

Jan was quick to tell me he got rid of it, but I knew better. I always know when it comes to snakes. He would be baaaaacccck – and I was right. My snake-dar is usually spot on.

As common in crisis situations, I have more questions than answers.

Is he back with a vengeance?

Is he going to get in the house?

Is he going to come on the porch?

Is he going to bite me? My kids? My pug?

Is he going to kill me in my sleep?

Will I forever be trapped inside my home for fear of walking by him again?

Is he actually doing me a favor by keeping the red ants and other insects at bay?

Will he try to eat Luke the pug?

Will Luke the pug try to eat him?

Should I have Jan kill it or send it packing – this time to a new country?

If he kills it will the red ants return?

In that case, who is the lesser evil?

Maybe, just maybe, could I learn to cohabitate with the snake?

I’m so confused and scurred!

Even if we kill it, my front porch time is forever tainted. Gone are the days of lazily sitting on the stoop watching Lance run around, clipping the kids fingernails, putting on my shoes, or having a cold beer. Gone are the days of walking around the lawn barefoot, gone is the rest of my comfort and personal security and well-being in my own front yard.

What should I do, I ask? What should I do?

Since I got home early this afternoon I’ve neurotically checked on him four times (kids are napping), opening the door as quickly as possible and peering over the edge of the porch before quickly slamming the door, locking it, triple bolting it, and barring it with wood. For the record, he’s in the same position he was in when I came home – half way in its hole in the white concrete under our brick porch. Yes, now I know where he lives.

For now, I will document his whereabouts for the next 24-48 hours before I decide what to do with my little green “friend.” I will also wear high winter boots as not to let him touch my bare skin if he decides to attack. About the heat? Who cares? This is my personal safety we are talking about.

Again, I have problems.

Jan thinks we should show it to Lance and let him decide. Well that’s fine and dandy, but he’s going to have to show Lance, because I’m not touching or going near him again with a ten foot pole. Also, I don’t want to project my own phobia on Lance. If Lance likes him, I’m sure he’ll want to name it or something like that.

Great, the last time he got to name something – a rubber dinosaur – he named it Mommy. Over my dead body will this snake be named Mommy.

Seriously, I’m in a predicament. A frenzied, irrational paranoid upsetting predicament. This is not a cry for help. Ok, yes it is.


I’m off to hide under a blanket until I can make a decision. It’s never good to make decisions paralyzed with panic.


Scared of a green grass snake

Editor’s Note: The word count on this post turned out way higher than I anticipated. I’m hoping now that I’ve unleashed these pent-up fears my anxiety level will return to normal. Thanks.

Breaking News: Less than two hours after posting this, Jan came home from work and said, “Umm, it’s still there and it looks like it laid three eggs.” Whatttttttttttttt? No joke. Now I am really scurred. Stay tuned.

About britta326

blogger, picture-taker, diaper-changer, runner

7 thoughts on “Red ants or a green snake – who is the lesser evil?

  1. I hate snakes as well. However, “A non-aggressive snake, it seldom bites and usually flees when threatened.” I saw show it to Lance and let him know not to play or pick it up. It will be a good learning experience for him, so he is not scared if it does present himself when you are not watching.

  2. While still laughing at loud after reading this post, I agree with the others… keep the snake. It’s a good learning experience. It will eat other things that are worse than a little green snake. And it might be cool to watch the eggs hatch. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Snake into the 4th of July | Britta's Banter

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