Kittie Howard

Thursday, June 4, 2015

"Kermit" Takes a Hop

"Kermit," the tree frog named after the famed Muppet, decided to remain on our back porch and feast upon the insects that neared his perch, the light fixture we'd had installed on the side wall. Although the rosemary, basil, mint, and citronella plants mosquitoes hate had kept the tormentors at bay, Kermit not only decimated those who'd managed to get through the defenses but had added flies and other morsels to his dining pleasure.

Life was good!

Mr. H., whom mosquitoes love, could sit outside in peace, no longer bitten or buzzed by the little drones. As such, many a delightful evening passed as glorious sunsets crowned sun-drenched days.

The evening respite also calmed hectic days filled with gardening in the morning, before temperatures soared, and household projects in the afternoon. Although the interior looked fresh and no longer reflected the mess the renters had made, projects remained.

After completing a kitchen project, I poured a glass of iced tea and headed for the porch, only to stop dead in my tracks.

A black snake had slithered up the far wall and waited, within inches of snacking on Kermit.

As I raced though the kitchen, I plopped the glass of tea on the counter, then slammed the garage door open for the broom, raced back to the porch, opened the door near the light fixture, stepped back and banged the wall with the broom.

In the nano second before the snake lunged, Kermit hopped through the opening, onto the hall floor.

Not sure if the snake had a poisonous colorful marking on its head, I banged the door frame with the long broom, shut the door and stepped back as the snake coiled around the light fixture.

I then called 911. No false bravado here. I don't like snakes!

The patrolman who came uncoiled the snake with a long, somewhat curved metal prong. He said it was a non-poisonous Garter snake and repositioned the reptile in the thicket at the very far side of the house, as removed from Kermit as possible.

In an established, tree-filled, sometimes wooded, residential area that hugged water on one side and wrapped two 18-hole golf courses on the other side, everyone had a snake story, now including Kermit.

Problem was, I couldn't find Kermit to congratulate him on his daring escape. After placing bowls of water in strategic locations, I decided to close off that part of the house and wait until evening, hoping his nocturnal instincts would kick in.

When Mr. H. called from the Chapel Hill area that afternoon, I didn't tell him about the little frog who'd charmed his way into our hearts. Actually, there wasn't time. Well, okay, there was. I thought it wiser to focus on the positive. Kermit would be found.

And there really was much to talk about. Mr. H.'s nephew had graduated, with honors in Economics, from the University of North Carolina, had turned down a job in Durham for a job in Nashville and had been accepted into Vanderbilt's evening program for a combined M.B.A. (Masters of Business Administration) and J. D. (law) degree.

That evening, much to my delight, Kermit returned. When I neared the sink in the bathroom, I saw a green blob by the faucet. But excitement quickly turned to worry. Kermit had shriveled up, a tiny shadow of his former self.

After covering him with a hand towel (he was too weak to jump), I carried him outside, to the wall opposite where the snake had been. To my relief, he clung to the wall. He also tolerated a few fingertip splashes of water from the bowl of water on the floor before hopping further up the wall.

By morning, Kermit had regained some of his weight and snoozed behind the MiracleGro box in the corner, behind the chair where I always sat.

He refused to venture beyond this wall until after I'd scrubbed down where the snake had been.

No doubt about it, Kermit was a Phi Beta Froga.

But, as Mr. H.'s nephew had transitioned from one phase of life, prepared as possible for the next, so had Kermit.

He left the porch about a week later.

Kermit turned out to be Clementine after all.

When Mr. H. returned from Chapel Hill, he saw another, much smaller frog next to "Kermit" on the porch's pillar. Since we now realized the male frog was smaller, we knew what was coming.

That evening we avoided the porch so Kermit and Clementine could have a peaceful honeymoon.

By morning, Kermit was gone. For a few days Clementine hugged the wall, near a dark goo covering a mass of eggs, then disappeared.

Several days later, the dark mass flattened. Whether tadpoles had dropped into the bowl of water below and survived remains one of those questions Mother Nature will answer later, hopefully when another Kermit appears and the glorious cycle of life renews itself.

* * * * *
Computer updates: I now have a new Apple laptop, loaded with goodies, all discounted nicely as it's last year's model. Apparently the only real difference between last year and this year is that this year's pad doesn't click. Never mind. The WiFi mouse eliminates the need for a port. But I'm seriously careful about the computer's re-charge port. I fried the mouse port on the old computer by yanking it out too hard.

So far, I'm loving my new Apple. It's much lighter, does more stuff and is easier for a computer dinosaur like me to operate. That said, getting to this point was a technological hole that took time and money to get out of.

Another new toy is my first iPhone. But the jury's still out on this one. People really do expect immediate replies to texts. Sheesh! I think one has to be careful technology doesn't turn into a mental heroin.


Linda Starr said...

I can't believe you called 911 for a garter snake - and that they came out, if it has an arrowhead shaped head it is poisonous, glad Clementine and Kermit are ok though.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Well, if you weren't sure what kind of snake it was, better safe than sorry. Glad Kermit escaped.
You're going to dig your new iPhone!

William Kendall said...

Well, the cop will have a good story to tell!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Good to know we aren't the only ones who amuse ourselves by giving names to the critters who take up residence in our yard. However, there were so many tree frog tadpoles and teeny tiny frogs residing in one of our water barrels, we had to give up on naming them. Didn't even call them Thing One, Thing Two... Thing Two Hundred...

Janie Junebug said...

You and Kermit are so brave. A snake? I would run out the front door, if the snake were at the backdoor, and then I would stand in the front yard and scream, SNAKE SNAKE SNAKE SNAKE HELP HELP HELP HELP SAVE ME.


Denise Covey said...

That Kermit story has more twists and turns than a Shakespearean play. Living in the land that has 6/10 of the most poisonous snakes in the world, we get to know which ones to be scared of. The rule we live by is to remember that the snake is more scared of us than we are of it. Glad you saved Kermit from being the snake's snack.

Welcome to the Apple world! My daughter gifted me an iPhone so we can all message and facetime for free from anywhere in the world as we're a travelling family. I do have things I prefer about my Samsung Note 11, especially the large screen, so good to read Kindle books on. I love my light laptop too. Boy I never want an old clunker again.

Cheers from the land of sunny skies!

Denise :-)

Norma Beishir said...

Kitties, this is a great story! Maybe you should think about doing a book, cute stories like yours from friends and fellow authors.

Glad you and Kermit escaped the snake. Have you ever seen a snake hypnotize a bird?

mshatch said...

Love your frog story but oh, boy, the snake would've scared me, too!

Ms Sparrow said...

Thank goodness you arrived in time to save Kermit! We wildlife lovers have to stick together. It must have been a harrowing experience for you.

Gail Dixon said...

Oh, I love your witty, winding tales. Nice save on Kermit from the snake. It's not a pretty sight to see a frog hanging out of a snake's mouth. I know, I have photos to prove it. :( Congrats on the Apple purchase. I love mine and wouldn't go back to. PC for anything.

Leandra Wallace said...

Ooh, snakes r scary! I hope all the little Kermits & Clementines come out ok. :)