Based on a true story
“Miguel, you need to clean up your room!”
Miguel could hear the irritation in my voice. He scurried to his room, and I could hear him
picking up his toys and his shoes. It stopped suddenly after a few minutes. I marched to his bedroom, putting my hands on my hips while standing in the doorway.
He gasped; I had scared him. But the look on his face was not his typical, “oh no I’m in trouble face.”
Miguel was standing in front of the shoe bin. He had a shoe in his hand, not moving, standing perfectly still.
“You need to pick up, Miguel.”
“Pero Mira,” he pointed to the shoe bin and quietly said, “But mommy there is a snake in my boot.”
I rolled my eyes, of course, my kid just said that because he loved his Woody boots. That was until he let out a scream. Like a real scream.
I hurried over and looked into my son’s shoe bin. I bent down and saw something move inside of Miguel’s boot. I blinked a few times because I wasn’t wearing my glasses. And then I realized there were two little black beady eyes looking up at me. The little thing looked like it was smiling.
Sure enough, there was a little snake in my son’s Woody boot.
My choices were clear. I could freak out and scream and hope that the little snake instinctively knew how to go back to the garden. Or I could reach into the boot and make sure he was out of my house. My brain had never worked that fast. There were so many images flashing through my mind, but I needed to do something NOW!
I looked back at Miguel who was now standing in the doorway clutching the giant teddy bear his dad gave me for Valentine’s Day as a shield. I smiled at him,
“It ‘s okay Miguel, no te hace nada.”
I took a deep breath, I knew that I had to stick my hand into the bin, and it. The most difficult but most important part would be to remain calm. Miguel would not see me scream, or we would end up both on the bed having panic attacks. I made a sign of the cross and moved the boot a little bit with my left hand.
The snake slithered out a little bit. With my cat-like reflexes, I was able to grab its little head.
I cleared my throat. My voice trembled as I slowly turned around and looked at Miguel,
“Mira mi amor, it’s a baby like you.” Miguel squeaked and giggled a little bit.
“Mommy, can I touch it?”
“Of course, little mouse.” Miguel reached up and lightly touched what I later learned from a Google search later was a harmless garter snake.
“Okay Miguel, finish picking up please.” Miguel nodded and began to pick up his toys again. I turned around as fast as I could, gagging as soon as I thought I was out of earshot. I ran out the back door and passed the back lawn and the garden. I tried not to throw the little snake, but he was ready to be free, and I was ready to let go of him. And just like Harry Potter, the little snake turned around. He raised his head and said,