Daddy had recently had surgery and was hobbling around on crutches in an ankle to thigh cast. Feeling he just had to get outside for just a few minutes, he took his first trip into the yard. Four-year-old Marilyn who was following him around suddenly starting screaming in terror. She’d stepped on a snake! Daddy balanced himself on one crutch, grabbed her, pulling her to safety. Then he turned and called out to my brother Billy, “Throw me that stick over there to kill this snake with.”
Billy looked around. Inferring the job required a substantial weapon, he spotted a fence post lying close by and heaved it solidly at Daddy. It hit him square in the knee area of his casted leg. The solid “thunk” of wood against cast was impressive. Daddy, Marilyn, and the unfortunate snake rolled end over end in a cloud of dust. Marilyn screamed in terror; Daddy in agony! At the center of a whirlwind of swirling dirt, sticks, and leaves we could see him and Marilyn futilely spinning circles in the dirt as he tried to simultaneously locate the snake, save Marilyn, locate his crutches, and get to his feet. The snake wisely made his escape amidst all this mayhem. To this day, Marilyn has a phobia of snakes. Daddy was left with a fear of flying fence posts. I can’t speak for the snake. We never saw him again.