For What It’s Worth

A snake, but with potato, not apple

She doesn’t know it, but a Pennsylvania woman and I recently had a similar experience—a handful of snake.

No, neither of us was being tempted to eat a forbidden fruit. However, she was preparing to eat potatoes, a vegetable not an alluring fruit like the apple or whatever fruit Eve and Adam ate. The only connection to eating in my experience was that I was doing yard work and working up a hunger.

The woman in Pennsylvania, Bonnie Raygor of North Huntingdon, filled her hand with snake when she reached into a bag of spuds she had purchased at Walmart. She was grabbing for potatoes to cook when she saw a white spot. Thinking it was a bad potato, she grabbed it and found herself holding an orange and white snake.

Taking a bite of forbidden fruit was not on her mind. Instead, she screamed. I don’t know if she was tempted to do bodily harm to the snake, but she didn’t. Lucky snake, I would say. In what was good fortune for the three-and-a-half-foot snake, Bonnie had a reptile enclosure she had used for previous pets and she placed the snake in it. She told a TV reporter that she went on the Internet for some research and decided the snake was a “corn snake.” A corn snake in a potato sack? Interesting.

Yes, she did call the Walmart store. Guess what she said she was told to do? Bring the snake to the lawn and garden department and they would take care of it. I’m laughing again just telling this. I can’t imagine what my reaction would have been to that suggestion. Probably not anything I would repeat here.

“I was dissatisfied,” Bonnie told the reporter. For goodness snakes, you’re kidding me, Bonnie. “I called and asked to speak to a manager, and he said if I had a receipt, I could get a refund,” she said. Wouldn’t that make you want to slither right on down to the store?

The TV station that carried the story contacted Walmart and was told the company’s food safety team would be in contact with Bonnie and that the store would be in contact with the potato distributor to find out where the snake came from. Reckon they’ll start with the lawn and garden department?

My experience was not nearly as exciting. I was on my hands and knees scooping up handfuls of damp leaves from under shrubbery on the north side of the house. Everything was going well. Scoop, turn, drop leaves in a container, repeat the action. Suddenly, as I opened my right hand to drop leaves, I felt something cool and slimy on my hand.

My mind immediately stopped wandering and I focused quickly on my hand. What to my wondering eye should appear but a green and yellow snake. I didn’t scream and neither did the snake. I did, however, quickly finish releasing the handful of leaves, thereby releasing from captivity the snake, all two feet, give or take a couple of inches, of him. Okay, maybe he was a she. Who takes time to check things like that? Besides, if I had taken time, I wouldn’t have known how to tell which gender it was. And he or she didn’t seem tempted to wait around to see if I was going to inquire.

Life has its little surprises, huh? Next time you stick your paw into a potato sack or reach down to scoop up a pile of leaves, please…don’t think about a snake.

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2 Responses to For What It’s Worth

  1. Marilois Kirksey says:

    Good one! MK


  2. Cindy says:

    I’ve seen a couple of snakes recently, too… The first was a black snake (4′-6′ long, depending on whose estimate you take) on the ground under a sheltered picnic table at a Kansas state park. The second was an 8-foot female Burmese python hanging around the shoulders of her owner, who was standing out in his front yard with his wife one evening recently when Art and I went for a walk in their neighborhood.

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