Thursday, March 22, 2012
A Bad Case Of The Heebie Jeebies
I am way too squeamish for this business.
It’s kind of like car sickness. Once I get a case of the heebie jeebies, it doesn’t just go away any time soon.
It started with the chinchilla. Rylee is usually the one who handles Sophie, but this time I was alone. It’s not that I am terribly afraid of her. It’s that I don’t like to handle an animal that I am not familiar with. And this cannot be hid from the animal. I had to pick her up and carry her and this caused a lot of insecurity for both of us.
Still a little shaky, I then had to go into the basement to plug in the well pump. I had seen a snake down there last time I went down, but it wasn’t in my way, so I stayed out of it’s way too. I told Rikki I had seen it and she wanted to see, but when we went down again it was gone. I asked her to clean up some boxes that were in the corner and bring one upstairs. She wouldn’t do it because she said it could be a rattle snake and might be by the boxes. Heebie jeebies run in our family. I moved the boxes myself, and if you would have snuck up behind me and touched me while I was doing it, I am sure I would have gone through the ceiling. Anyway, when I went down yesterday, there the snake was again, right between me and the water pump. Dang. Now I had to deal with it. I looked around for something to poke it with. I spied a pole about the size of a broom stick across the room. As I walked over to get the pole, spider webs stuck to my face. I immediately began flailing my arms about my head as if being attacked by hornets. Heebie jeebies were running amuck in that basement.
Pole in hand, I poked at the snake from a safe distance and it didn’t do much, so, feeling braver, I shoved it across the floor with the pole. Now it was safe to plug in the pump and I could have just walked away again, but I knew the problem was not going to go away. Getting as far back as I could on my end of the pole, I picked up the snake with the very tip of the other end of the pole and we began our trek up the basement stairs. This was not the smartest way to go about this, since the pole had to be held at an angle to get up the stairs. If the snake had been the least bit slippery, it would have ended up on my end of the pole in a matter of seconds. Luckily, the snake wasn’t slippery and it just hung there in the shape of a W and glared at me the whole time. Once up the stairs, I had to make it out the back door. Again a problem. The snake-end of the pole was in front of me so I couldn’t open the door. I wasn’t feeling confident enough to back up and make a 180 in the kitchen, with a snake on the end of a long pole, so I was hoping to use the snake-end to push the thumb button on the screen door latch and open the door. Again, not smart. If the pole slipped, the snake would likely drop off onto the kitchen floor and somehow I knew that would just scare me 10 times as much as it did seeing it in the basement. But lady luck stayed with me and the snake-end of the pole opened the latch without incident. Once out the door, I flung that snake as far as I could. I know this wasn’t very nice but it was my only release of the heebie jeebies and I needed a release. I am not proud to say, it landed with a thud, on its back and did not move. I decided to check on it later.
Adrenaline was still running high when I went down to feed the cats who can come and go from the big shop. Normally this would be no big deal, but yesterday it was freaky. I don’t know if the cats were sensing my heightened fear or if I was sensing theirs, but we all kept thinking we saw or heard things. They would take one bite of food and then stop and look around quickly to see what was there. I stood there, not breathing, trying to hear or see what they saw. On my way out of the huge, poorly lit shop, I must have turned around 3 times to see what might be coming after me.
Next it was time to feed the chickens. On my way to the barn with their feed, I stopped to pick handfuls of green grass for them to enjoy, since they aren’t free-ranging yet. I filled their feeders, gathered the eggs and then walked over to their entrance and exit hole to show them the grass. Just as I got the door, I saw it. A dead rat. A big dead rat, with a big fat tail. And it was a she-rat, with nipples. I just had to show the girls. Besides, I don’t like to leave dead things lying around in the chicken coop. I had no gloves and one hand held the egg basket and eggs. I had no choice but to pick it up by the very tippy tip of its tail and try to carry it out of the barn. I made it about three steps, which was enough time to start thinking about the lice that these rats carry and wondering if they would be crawling onto me, when the very tippy tip of this rat’s tail moved. Seriously it did move. It felt just like a snake trying to get out of my fingers. I jerked and dropped that thing so quick I nearly cracked all the eggs in the basket. The heebie jeebies were crawling all over me by then. I wanted to come right out of my skin. I kicked the dead rat to the exit door of the barn and kicked it outside and got as far away from that thing as quickly as I could.
I calmed myself as best I could on the walk back to the house. When I got there, I decided to see if the snake had moved on or if I had killed it. It apparently slithered off into the bushes, because in its place, staring into the bushes were two cats, who, by the look in their eyes and their body language, also had a bad case of the heebie jeebies.