Thursday morning before school, I was working on a magazine article upstairs in my office. Suddenly, I heard a scream then "Come down here right now!"
Elaine was babysitting our grandson Sam, and I was afraid that something had happened to him. Bounding down the stairs, I was greeted with another shriek.
"There's a snake under the table!" Elaine yelled.
She then picked Sam up off the floor and plopped him into his crib, which caused the youngster to start crying. Sam knows when his naptime is and this for sure was not it, and his cries were a protest against this injustice.
"Get that thing out of here, right now," demanded Elaine.
"First, let me see if it is poisonous before I start messing with it," I replied. "Get me the flashlight so I can see it better under the table."
Elaine retrieved the flashlight and shining the light under the table, I saw a six-inch snake with round eyes, meaning it was not venomous. Upon further examining its markings, I identified the reptile as a corn snake - a harmless little creature that mostly eats insects at this stage of life.
While I was going into a detailed explanation to my wife on the virtues of corn snakes, she interrupted me.
"Get him out of here, right now."
Using a dust pan, I flipped the snake into the device then released him outside.
Order restored, Sam was removed from his crib, Elaine looked relieved, and I headed for school.