Where I live in the Pacific Northwest we have no poisonous snakes. Which, I’m sure, contributes greatly to the fact that I am not at all scared of snakes. Pretty much the only snake we have here is the garter snake--a black snake with two bright pinstripes running down his length. They are, at the longest, only the length of my forearm, and only as fat as a big pen.
My dad used to say, “Some boys scare girls with snakes. My girls scare boys with snakes.”
The only bad thing about garter snakes is their stink gland. The smell is nasty and nearly impossible to wash off. As we were not allowed to come to the dinner table reeking of garter snake, we discovered many creative ways to get if off, such as lemon juice.
Well, one day a family with three boys, fairly close in age to us three girls, came visiting. The six of us managed to gather, oh, probably a good fifteen or twenty garter snakes. My oldest sister, AJ, discovered that if you put them in ice water they will get sluggish. So we chilled the whole lot of them and laid them out all over the porch and walkway, sticking them back in the ice water if they began to get too lively.
I’m sure you can imagine the looks on our moms’ faces when it came time to leave and they opened the front door.
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