"Bruce, come down here, right now!" Elaine yelled from the kitchen this morning. My first thought was that I had committed some egregious error, but then it occurred to me that she was very scared. I ran from my writing room, scurried down the steps, and charged into the kitchen.
"Just look," she pointed to the recycling bin. "I thought the sealing of the back door meant that we were done with those things!"
I still couldn't see what she was so aggravated about, but, finally, she pointed directly at the reason for her anxiety. A sticky label from our bananas had fallen on the floor, landed on the side of the recycling bin, and a five-inch Eastern ringneck snake had become stuck on the label.
The poor creature was wriggling about in obvious duress, and I felt real sympathy for the stuck snake.
"Get it out of here, right now," Elaine demanded. "I will not share my house and kitchen with snakes."
"They're harmless," I meekly replied. "But I will remove it from the kitchen right now."
I took the banana label and the attached snake outside and carefully removed the poor creature from its sticky prison. The last I saw of the Eastern ringneck it was winding its way across the sidewalk and into the grass...free at last.