|Bernie, Punkin, and Ethel seem unconcerned about the snake they know is in their coop.|
You see we've previously used that foamy filler to stop up some holes.
|Don't worry. I was using my zoom.|
|I threw that stick-with-pinecones at the hole last night, hoping to scare the snake out of the coop.|
Yeah -- that's how I fight snakes! Throwing pinecones!
No part of the snake's body was outside; I was hoping he was "on his way out," and maybe his head was outside? Nope. I went back in the coop. I moved the last cinder block he was hiding behind. Of course, I did this with the hoe -- it was useful after all!
|Again - I used my zoom.|
I poked near him. He moved. He's alive.
Besides Ned, and my husband with a shovel, the next best snake-killing device on this farm is black mesh. I kid you not. This meshy stuff, which is nearly useless as fence, catches on everything. I can't tell you how many times I've stood, impatiently patient, trying to untangle this stuff from around a button on my farm coat. It also, wonderfully, catches on snake skin. We've found two snakes at least, wound up in this mesh and dead. I suppose they starve to death.
Anyway, the coop is so full of gargantuan holes that I began stuffing black mesh into and along some holes. (Clearly - not enough.) This whole wall base is one big hole. I took a chicken-box-ladder and put it there, crying to keep intruders out.
You see in the photo below a fine, rat hole at the base of the wall. Ugh. I stuffed black mesh in there too. I think I ran out of black mesh.
Anyway, the hole the snake used is actually behind his body, between that post and the cinder block. I've known it was there. I was just hoping no critter would use it. Right.
So I brought Ned into the coop at last to be my valiant killer of snake. Ned charged in, bounding as he loves to bound, and sniffed and ran around the coop. He went right over to that corner, but apparently did not smell the snake. So much for dog noses! And then I couldn't bear to let him do it -- not for the snake's sake (I care nothing for snakes, being a good daughter of Eve), but for Ned's sake. The snake is apparently cornered and stuck, or it would've left already. It's probably tangled in some black mesh ... one can hope. But Ned always gets bitten when he dispatches a snake, usually in the face or throat, and that makes me nervous. He swells. What if he couldn't breathe? So I called Ned off.
And I let the chickens back in. They were distressed and nervous about all the coop changes. Plus both hens needed to lay this morning. How could they lay, with their boudoir so disheveled?
(Aside: Is there a word "shevel"? Does that mean tidy? And if the root is "shevel," shouldn't the correct spelling for its opposite be "dissheveled"? Ugh. English!)
In the end, I left it all as it was, except for decluttering the coop. The snake, I left. The chickens are in the coop. Ned is relieved of his duties. The shovel remains nearby. This round, I think, the snake won.
(If any reader prefers for snakes to live and scare chickens, causing them not to lay, and steal the only two eggs we get per day, too bad. Ned and I agree on his Snake Philosophy: no snake lives on his farm. If they slither away and leave me alone, I let them. If they come in my chicken coop, all bets are off. Oh -- and the reason Adam is not handling the snake is that he's out of town today.)