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Something exciting happened yesterday. Well, may be not too exciting, but we have to take what we get during these times when we are not yet a fully functional world. The most exciting things that can be expected to happen around here is while I am out with Luci walking around the house. It was no different this time.

I was doing the rounds as usual post lunch, with the dog sniffing her way slowly. She is never satisfied until and unless she has sniffed – loudly at that – every inch of the length and breadth of the path we walk. An exaggeration I admit, but you know what I mean. Luci likes to investigate, much like the detectives in the shows her mom watches avidly and leave no stone unturned.

In the meantime, I walked ahead faster, and having reached the front side of the house, turned back. That would give me a few more steps for the day (The target being 6250) and I could also herd the doggo back inside so I could get on with what the detectives had detected after their thorough investigations.

I walked about four feet on my way back when I found something sticking out on to the path, a strange sort of water hose. A shiver ran down my spine. Not that I fear water hoses or am in the habit of shivering in dread when I see them. I had suddenly realized that what I thought an unusual (and big fat) water hose was actually a snake. I stared fascinated at it for a moment, then turned and ran for dear life calling out to the L&M to come out and take a look.

By snake of course I mean a rat snake which is considered harmless. I have already written about Chintoo and also about his cousin. This apparently was an uncle much older. How do I know? Of course I know! know the whole family tree. Duh! I have imagination, don’t I? The uncle was quite a thick fellow, and also long a specimen. By now Luci’s antennae had picked up the distress in her mom’s tones. She rounded the corner and looked inquiringly our way. Between Luci and us lay the rat snake, playing dead. It could play dead all it wanted, but couldn’t fool Luci. Here we go, I thought and as if on cue, Luci gave chase to the hapless snake.

When that noon, the snake made the decision to get out for a jaunt and also sun itself after days of rain and being cooped up in its hole, I bet the last thing it had thought of was being cornered by a vigilant dog. Accosted unexpectedly in this manner, and also chased (the indignity!) by a four-footer with a wagging tail, one can forgive the snake for not thinking straight. All it had to do was to go over the wall to the vacant lot behind from whence it came and hide somewhere among the bushes growing wildly there, or even slip down a hole conveniently dug by bandicoots. But it chose a different path.

It chose to slither into a shed instead of making for the wall. This is the shed where all sorts of unnecessary odds and ends found their way and is essentially the L&M’s kingdom where he hoards things which should rightly have been thrown away eons back. Anyway, the snake in its haste decided the best policy was to slip inside this shed through the gap beneath door. Like I said, the poor fellow wasn’t thinking straight. The dog was close behind..

The snake slithered in, and not to be outdone, the dog followed right in pushing the door open. She started poking around the empty cartons and trunks and tons of other stuff I know nothing about or want to know anything about. I myself never step in there because if I did I might get an apoplectic fit. I hate clutter and hoarding. Anyway, After half an hour of investigative sniffs the dog returned defeated and plopped down panting. After all she is a ‘senior’ and can’t be expected to have a younger dog’s stamina. Mom and dad were much relieved. We left the snake to crawl out and make way home in its own good time (Whenever you are ready, dear!) and went back inside.

© Shail Mohan 2021