When I moved to Florida over 2 years ago, I hadn’t given any thought to the amazing wildlife that is unique to this area. I quickly became fascinated by the variety, most of which I had never seen before. I was first welcomed by a very odd looking and very tall bird I later found out to be a wood stork. I named him Woody. He came to visit me only twice but it was cool and special, something I’ll never forget. His photo sits on my bookshelf. I’m pleased to introduce you to Woody:
As time went on, I came to appreciate many different species. Large turtles frequently crawled under my fence to hang out in my back yard. Frogs and lizards were everywhere and I marveled at watching them do their thing. But one day, a very strange string of events took place. A desperate and panicked squeal, not unlike that of a screeching howler monkey was coming from my back yard!
My mother instinct kicked into overdrive. I did not know what it was but I knew I was going to do whatever it took to save the distressed animal. I crept outside like a ninja and desperately looked around for where this continuous screeching was coming from.
And then I saw it.
A yellow rat snake was hanging down from one of my palm trees but he was not alone. The blood curdling screaming (and I am not exaggerating about the sound) was coming from the large tree frog the snake was beginning to eat. Apparently, the snake will usually grab a frog, face first. One bite and it’s dead, hence, silence from the frog. But that is not what happened here. This is what was going down:
The snake grabbed the frog from the rear! The frog was terrified and made that loud and clear. Not being a native Floridian, I had no idea if the snake was poisonous or not and I didn’t care. The mom in me sprang into action. I HAD to save that frog! I frantically scanned the back yard for anything I could use as a weapon.
I was in the middle of a re-purposing project so I had a pale pink paint stirring stick in the yard- that was it. There was no time!. I had to make do. So,without any thought of my own well being, I grabbed the pretty pale pink paint stick (try to say that 3 times fast) and turned into a crazed lunatic. While screaming every curse word I could think of, I started beating the sh*t out of the snake with my stick.. “YOU STUPID M*THER F*CKER LET GO OF THE D*AMN FROG OR I’M GOING TO F*CKING KILL YOU!!! With each whack of my pale pink stir stick, I got louder and more focused. G*D D*AMNIT, LET GO OF THAT F*CKING FROG!!
I continued. SMACK, CURSE, SMACK, CURSE.
It was not until later that I found out that 1) a yellow rat snake is not poisonous and 2) the snakes teeth are angled back so once they have bitten into something, they literally cannot let it go. Guess what??? THE SNAKE LET GO OF THE FROG!
The frog happily and quickly leaped away and the yellow rat snake retreated to the top of the palm tree, clearly embarrassed he had been defeated. That frog did not get eaten that day. Not on my watch…
Are you impressed with me? Well, you should be. Not only is this story 100% true, but I am writing it after having a tooth pulled a couple of hours ago.
Happy Weekend y’all!