Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Water Snake

As my husband carefully steered the boat toward the loading dock, he remarked, “Heather, we have a little problem.” I peered into the boat in time to see a very long water snake slither under the front deck. I looked in dismay at the luggage I had carried to the loading dock. Without a word my husband began to pile the boxes and suitcases into the back of the boat. Then he shoved bags of food under the deck.

It was Thursday, the day before the long weekend. Tomorrow I was scheduled to leave my husband at the cottage and drive further north to a ladies’ retreat where I would be the speaker. I had to squash my fear of the snake and get into the boat. My husband drove the three and one-half miles to our cottage with his legs tucked up under his body. Meanwhile I tried to keep my feet as close to the seat and as far from the deck as possible.

The next morning I asked my husband if the snake would have crawled out of the boat during the night. He was noncommittal. Very cautiously he pulled the boat cover out from under the deck. If the snake was there, we did not want it to attack him. Water snakes can be quite vicious when cornered.

That afternoon I peered into the boat before jumping in. Then I lifted a corner of the boat cover and screamed. Leaping onto the dock, I cried, “Throw the cover overboard! The snake is inside.” Of course, by the time my husband lifted up the cover, the snake had disappeared back under the deck.

Driving the boat was supposed to be my adventure. My husband always drives. I never bargained for a snake. Nevertheless a water snake would not prevent me from going to the retreat. During that trip several Bible verses drifted through my mind. Finally one gave me the most comfort. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee” (Isa. 26:3).

At the marina I hoped Mr. snake would discover he was back home. Please be gone when I get back!