1. Scream. Loud.
2. Drop the egg basket and run in the house.
3. Bypass Mommy, run straight for Daddy.
4. Watch from the top of the pop-up camper through the crack in the top of the hen house door,
5. While Daddy chases the snake around with a steel-tooth rake,
6. Then, when it rears up and tries to bite him, scream a little more.
7. Run to the house and ask Mommy what we have that we can spray at the snake.
8. Hightail it to the barn to get what Mommy suggested, and
9. Watch Daddy spray the snake with wasp spray to stun it,
10. Then run back to the house again, yell for Mommy, and gasp, "Come Quick! Daddy needs you!"
11. Sigh exasperatedly when Mommy says she wants no part of it (and who wishes desperately the big boys were home instead of out playing baseball!), then hold the door for her expectantly, ushering her out with wildly flapping hands.
12. Hang back in the safety of the doorway with your sisters while Mommy finds an empty storage bin for Daddy to rake the now-groggy snake into, then
13. Skitter back to the top of the pop-up while Mommy tries to clumsily jockey the lid onto the storage bin without the snake jumping out at her.
14. Fearlessly hitch a ride with the snake (which is confined safely in the bin) to the back twenty to relocate it far away from the chickens.
15. Come home and look through the North American Wildlife guide to try and figure out what kind of snake it was.
16. Find out, with a little more investigation with Mommy on the internet that it was a Bullsnake ~ a friend to the high plains farmer, because it eats mice ~ but an unwelcome guest if it's in the henhouse eating eggs.
* We caught it in the act of eating an egg; one was lodged, sidewise in its neck as we chased it around the henhouse! (Wish we'd gotten a picture of it before the egg slid down, but we weren't thinking about the camera until after we'd snapped the lid tight over our captive!)
* It was, incidentally, between four and five feet long, and we're a little concerned there may still be a smaller one in the outbuildings, because Catherine thought she saw a smaller one the other day... (Agh.)
* After the incident, we were talking about how to avoid surprising a snake and possibly causing aggressive behavior. I told the girls one way to be safer is to make a lot of noise when they go into the outbuildings during the summer.
Cathy said: I did make a lot of noise!
I clarified: Before you see a snake, you goose!