Must I say this?

 

I frequently shout at the kids but I try not to holler at Martin.

Last night it was necessary.

I repeated the same sentence a dozen times in quick succession with crescendo, until I was yelling. Despite my unmitigated fervor, Martin appeared hesitant — uncommitted.

If I hadn’t been barefoot I would have pulled a Khrushchev, banging my shoe on the table and shouting in a rabid rant:

Do not bring that snake inside!

Do NOT bring that snake inside!

DO NOT BRING THAT SNAKE INSIDE!

The snake was discovered snoozing among hay bales and he spent the day in a bucket, awaiting the kids’ return. Then, Snake was relocated from bucket to a modest bug-viewing container.

Snake was peevish about his lengthy confinement and even more irate about the prospect of smaller digs. He hissed and struck out repeatedly.

In his defense we stuffed him in a cheap, cracked, plastic container with a loose lid.

It was the last detail that fueled my impassioned rave. I did not want a pissed-off snake, hissing and spitting, as it retreated beneath a couch or bed.

Fortunately Cayden is familiar with my wrath and knows it’s best to obey six words screamed repeatedly. He freed the snake outdoors…

…beside the house, right next to the broken cellar window.