It was my much-awaited time for Guarani study, which always takes place on the hammock now hanging on my front porch. I like to study out there because when the Guarani-fluent neighborhood kids see me, they come on over. They make the best tutors! So here I was, just getting settled. I could already see one of the little fellas making his way across the soccer field to "assist" me.
Caroline was in the house, Camille and Ken were in town for their weekly "Daddy Date" and Caroline walked to the front door to tell me something. She immediately started freaking out, "AAAAA! MOMMEEEEEEEEEE!" My first reaction was to jump up, but she said, "NO! SNAKE!" So then my reaction was to draw my legs up into the hammock and try to figure out where. I can't tell you how many times we've been over this: "Don't panic. Say what needs to be said, such as SNAKE IN FRONT OF THE DOOR TRYING TO GET IN OUR HOUSE! or CUT MY FINGER! or CHICKENS OUT OF THEIR PEN!" I don't even care if it's caveman language, just tell me the pertinent facts BEFORE the freak-out session.
Needless to say, the snake WAS on the porch, making its way right quickly to the screen door which leaves a little gap even when it's closed tightly. The gap was top of my mind when I sprang to action. Caroline was screaming (squealing is more like it) while I grabbed the first thing I could find. Thank God, the kids next door had been playing "garden" in front of our porch, and there still remained a rough looking rake. I mean to tell you, this rake had seen better days. It was the only thing I could find quickly though, and I didn't want the sneaky snake to have any extra time. I must have slammed that rake into the floor at least ten times before it made contact with the snake, but let's just say mission accomplished.
Now, I know that it's not nice to disturb the natural balance of wildlife in a foreign country. I also know that I've read a trillion times that most little snakes in Paraguay are highly poisonous, so I didn't think it was the time to pull out the little book and ID him. He also didn't seem to be carrying a wallet, so I didn't bother to ask him for his papers.
The picture below shows you how huge this monster really was (that's my size 7 foot), and a glimpse of the handy tool of death. My next plan is to go ask all the little old ladies around here what plant I put around the perimeter of our house to repel the slithering serpents. There's a plant cure for everything from warts to diarrhea to ingrown toenail, so surely someone's figured out the snake repellent. We'll be walking around here with leafy necklaces, much akin to those wearing garlic to ward of vampires. Vile vipers beware! If I can't find a plant, I still have my rake!
(For those of you who might want to take a stab at figuring out what he was, I couldn't tell you if his head was triangular or round, but more triangular I think. And he had some pretty bright yellow coloring right below his head, I guess on what you'd call his neck. Right before I broke it.)