Possumhaw: All in a day

June 24, 2013 10:21:56 AM

Shannon Bardwell - [email protected]


You can make your plans, and then count on it -- the day goes every which-a-way. 


The plan was that I'd walk with Eleanor and Robin. Shirley, my regular walking partner, was all tied up with her grandson, Alex, who is visiting for the summer. The first week Alex had Vacation Bible School, and the second week he had YMCA camp. Shirley's kept "one foot in the road," as Momma always said, ever since Alex arrived. 


Eleanor and Robin walk slower than Shirley, but they walk longer. By the time I get home I'm as wet and limp as a dishrag. The day's plan was to get home, feed the cat, ducks and goldfish, water the plants, make a brown bag lunch, dress, get what I needed for work and head to Columbus to catch a yoga class. From there I'd drive to Starkville and do my work at the courthouse, then on to West Point for more work and drive back home again. 


Across from the Oktibbeha Courthouse is a new coffee shop, and since I'm drinking 100 percent caffeinated bold roast coffee again, I'd take my laptop and work there while sipping coffee before heading to West Point. 


Well, that was the plan. But by the time I got back to the driveway I had about decided to cut out the yoga part. The temperature said 94.6 degrees, and it was only 8:30 a.m. If Jill, the yoga teacher, would let me just lay on the mat in "corpse pose" it would be fine, but Jill thinks I'm practicing to be in the circus. So I had already "X'd" the yoga part, and that was even before I spied the snake. 


As I walked up the driveway I saw Jack, my cat, dancing across it. He was batting at something that was scooting away from him. I got closer and saw it was a snake. I yelled at Jack to get away but, of course, Jack, being deaf, ignored me. I ran to the house for the gun. Sam had been telling me that I needed to keep the gun with me at all times for reasons I shall explain in a minute. 


I got the gun and ran back to Jack and the snake. Jack had the snake cornered against the boat shed. The cat was just having a little fun. Once Jack saw that I had seen him terrifying the snake he lost interest and wandered off. I promise, the snake looked at me like he was grateful, even though I was standing there with a gun. I let him go. 


Changing into my rubber boots, I got a cup of coffee, a half loaf of bread, and hoisted the gun over my shoulder. Sam had seen a killer turtle with a head as big as a cantaloupe the day before. That sucker would try to eat my ducks, if he ever got the chance.

Shannon Rule Bardwell is a Southern writer living quietly in the Prairie.