Sunday, October 13, 2013

Skibbies & Snakes

There I was standing under the night stars in nothing but my stripped skibbies holding a broomstick and a machete. I was face to face with a giant cobra and the only thought that went through my mind was “what would crocodile Dundee do?” 

The day started off normal enough, I drank my morning tea and went for a run (or rather a brisk white-guy jog).  Since it was clean up day, I organized my movies, which brought me to the Paul Hogan classic Crocodile Dundee. I arrogantly thought to myself, as all men do… “You know, I can be like that guy”. My thought was interrupted as Holly asked me a question about Daniel. She was going to teach on fear and the necessity to trust in God. Little did I know God was going to teach me a valuable lesson that day.

A few hours later, the birds began to chirp and Holly spotted a giant snake up in the tree right beside our house. It was just far enough away to be unidentifiable. Was it a black Mamba? Cobra? Python? I still don’t know, but it was big. As fast as it appeared it went back inside the hollow it came from.  Disappointed in my self I knew Mr. Dundee would be highly disappointed in me. I didn’t even try to catch it. 

We made our way to the village later that evening. A small boy came running up to me in the middle of the fellowship saying “There is a big snake in your car!” As we approached the vehicle there were men, women, children all over it, looking in every window possible. The snake was nowhere to be seen, but everyone said, “he was just right there”, pointing to the dash. “I saw him go inside” one child said. Pointing to a space between the dash and the door. I looked everywhere, inside and outside but couldn’t find him. Finally a brave woman spoke up, “If God can shut the mouths of the lions, why are you afraid of one snake?” “Shoot, afraid, I’m not afraid” I said confidently enough to almost be believable. Every bump I expected to have him drop onto my feet. Every turn I would look down at the door where the child pointed expecting to see his beady eyes staring at me… I set the record for fastest time back to the house. I couldn’t wait to get out of that car. As I walked inside and saw the movie case, I could tell right away Crocodile Dundee had disapproval in his eyes. How could I have let him down again? Little did I know I would get another chance to earn some man points that night.

I woke straight up to the sound of our dogs viciously barking and growling. I jumped out of bed knowing something was terribly wrong. Of all nights to give the guard a day off. I ran outside as quickly as possible, grabbing the only weapons I could find, a machete, broomstick and almost dead flashlight. By the sound of their attack I knew this wasn’t your ordinary kitty-cat they had in a tree. I could sense real fear, and defense in them. As I rounded the corner I almost stepped on him, the biggest cobra I had ever seen. His hood raised, I closed my eyes and jumped back in case he decided to spit. My presence distracted the dogs just long enough for him to go into a thorn fence and eventually up a small papaya tree in our garden. His weight was breaking the branches out of the tree, and I knew to keep my distance.  As I handed Holly the flash light, I told her about my good plan.

“You hold this and shine it on him.  After I get him out of the tree, we are going to have to chase him. You go that way, I’ll go this way, and yell if you see him.”

I could tell right away she didn’t buy into my plan. Maybe it was the look in her eye, or maybe it was the way she handed me the flashlight back and said “this isn’t the movies, don’t do anything stupid.” That’s when it hit me, “Movies! Crocodile Dundee!" I raised my arm and flung my machete with all my might, expecting to pin him to the tree. I hit him right between the eyes, but since this isn’t the movies, my over sized knife simply bounced off. He stretched out, probably yawned, and in the blink of an eye made it to the ground. I ran in, ready for a fight, but found him making his way through knee-high grass. Holly once again reminded me, from the safety of the porch, “Don’t do anything stupid.” Always good advice! So, I decided instead of Crocodile Dundee, I will be like someone else who talks funny, The old guy off Downton Abby, and just sit on my tush eating crumpets and sipping tea.

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