If she were alive today, my Aunt Alice would be 99 years old on Sunday, January 26. Aunt Alice nearly always had a joke or funny story to tell; one of her gifts was the ability to see humor in everyday situations.
I saw this story recently on social media; it is the type of story Aunt Alice (as well as Jack Henderson, who loved a tall tale when he heard one) would love and tell.
While this is told as a joke, I have a feeling that parts of it are true…..in fact, all of it may be true. I don’t know. I’ll leave it up to you to decide.
This is a story about a garden snake and how dangerous they can be.
Garden snakes are also known as garter snakes. Known scientifically as Thamnophis Sirtalis, we’ll call the star of our story Tommy.
Lilly and Harry Bush, a couple in a nearby city had numerous potted plants outdoors. During a recent cold snap, Lilly asked Harry to bring several of them inside to protect them from the impending freeze.
It just so happened that a little green garter snake, Tommy, was hiding within the leaves of one of the plants. When he had comfortably warmed up inside the house, Tommy slithered out from among the leaves. Lilly saw Tommy slither under the sofa, letting out a very loud scream.
Harry was taking a shower, but he ran into the living room sans clothing to see what was going on. Lilly told him that a snake had made its way under the sofa.
Harry got down on the floor with his hands and knees to look for Tommy. The family dog, Rufas, saw an opportunity to play with Harry; Rufas nudged Harry with his wet, cold nose to get Harry to play. In his nervousness, Harry thought Tommy had bitten him and let out a blood-curdling screen.
Lilly thought Harry had suffered a heart attack, so she instructed him to be still and called 911.
The 911 attendants got to the residence, but refused to listen to Harrry’s protests that he was just fine. Against his will, Harry was loaded onto a stretcher and preparations were made to load Harry into the ambulance.
Right about then, Tommy decided to slither out from under the sofa. The paramedic saw Tommy, and was so startled he dropped his end of the stretcher, thus breaking Tommy’s leg.
Lilly still had the problem of Tommy being lost in the house. She called a neighbor, Neil, a big game hunter and unafraid of snakes. Neil armed himself with a rolled-up newspaper, flashlight, and started looking for Tommy under the sofa. Not being able to find Tommy, Neil decided he had relocated elsewhere and told Lilly. She sat down on the sofa to regain her composure. She reached between the sofa cushions to adjust them more comfortably when she felt Tommy wiggling around her fingers. Lily screamed and fainted.
Neil was still there, along with his wife, Winnie, who had come over to see why the ambulance was at the Bush home. Neil saw Lily laying down and passed out. He tried to revive her with CPR.
Winnie saw Neil’s mouth resting upon Lily’s. She immediately flew into a rage and slammed Neil in the back of the head with a candleholder. This knocked him out, cutting his scalp to the point of needing stitches.
The noise woke Lily. When she saw Neil lying on the floor with Winnie bending over him, she assumed Tommy had bitten him. She went to the kitchen, got a bottle of bourbon, and began pouring it down Neil’s throat.
The police arrived.
They saw Neil unconscious, smelled whiskey, and assumed a drunken fight had occurred. They were about to arrest everyone, when the ladies explained how it all happened over a little garter snake named Tommy!
The police called yet another ambulance, which took away Neil.
Tommy again crawled out from under the sofa. One of the policemen fired at it. He missed the snake and hit the leg of the end table. The table fell over, the lamp on it shattered and, as the bulb broke, it started a fire in the drapes.
The other policeman tried to beat out the flames, and somehow fell through the window into the yard on top of Rufas who had turned himself outside in an effort to get away from the commotion.
Neil saw the burning drapes and called the fire department. The firemen started raising the fire ladder when they were way down the street, disconnecting power and telephone lines. The fire was put out, and with minimal damage to the house
As the days passed, both men were discharged from the hospital, the house was repaired, and all was fine.
Several months later, Lily and Neil were watching TV. The weatherman announced a cold snap for that night. Lilly asked Neil if he thought they should bring in their plants for the night.
And that’s when he shot her, thereby proving that snakes are dangerous!