Aside

 Copyright © 1990 by Darlene Purcell  All rights reserved.

I never turn on the light when I go tinkle in the night.  I hate 
wakin up fully so I try to stay as asleep as possible and take care 
of nature.  

Being Mommy, I was used to the cats and kids following me from room 
to room.  Even at night the cat would often purr and rub my legs where 
I sat.  :)  

So on this brrry chill winter's eve, dressed in a pink flannel granny 
gown (yes we really do wear them for warmth in the deep south) I 
thought it was my purry furry friend that was nipping at my toes and 
yawned, scolding her in a loud whisper,  

"Stop that...it tickles!"

Reaching down to pet her, my hand grasped at empty space and puzzled 
I figured she must have moved away.  I shook my foot which was going 
to sleep sitting on the tall platform.  (My hubby was 6'4" and 
everything in our house had to be MAN sized, including the THRONE...)

But when I went to stand up the cat was back and pulling tugging on 
the ruffle of my gown...I hissed impatiently. 

"Stop that you naughty girl!"

From the distance I heard an unmistakable thump as Sugar jumped down 
off of the sofa in the next room and padded purring happily at the 
sound of my voice, towards me.  

In horror I realized something besides the cat was wiggling against my
foot.  Having found a baby rattlesnake in my kitchen only a few days 
before (oh the joys of rural living) I froze instantly, terrifed to 
move.

Unable to reach the light switch to see and unwilling to risk snake
bite, I did what any normal genteel southern belle would do. 

"BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"  I screamed.

My hubby hated to be woke up before four am.  But I hoped he would 
forgive me in this instance.

"YOU BETTER BE DYING WOMAN OR YOU WILL BE IF YOU WOKE ME UP FOR 
NOTHING!"  he bellowed as he followed my voice to the reading room.

But it was too late.  The creature perhaps set off by the panick in 
my voice freaked out and began running in circles round and round my 
ankles in the dark.

Of course by now I was convinced it was the longest snakes in history 
coiling itself around my legs and the thought of that slimy creature
imprisoning me pushed me over the edge of hysteria.

I began screaming bloody murer, trying to jump away from that spot 
and shake out the hem of my gown...but it was tied around my ankles 
where the critter kept running round and round caught up in the 
material.

I was so upset I was hyperventilating.  My lips and tongue went numb.
I couldn't breathe.  Then it stopped moving.  Just at the moment the 
light flipped on blindingly, I struggled between the fury in my 
husband face at being woke up and the cat standing by my feet 
growlingas it oggled my toes.

I froze like a statue imprisoned by the hem of my gown, feeling for 
all practical purposed like a trussed up mummy, and begged silently 
for my hero to save me.

He touch the cat by the scruff of the neck matter factly tossing her 
out the door and slamming it shut, sighed loudly and rolled his eyes
as he bent over and unraveled the mystery.

I heard one promising chuckle and instantly relaxed as I felt him 
unknotting my skirts. "So what is it!" I whispered hoarsley still in
shock."

He stood back up grinning holding up the war victim by a long slender
gray tail.  It was the cutest little gray mouse with huge pink ears 
I've ever seen.  Deader than a door knob. Totally slack and oblivious 
to the world.

"Did it faint?" I asked weakly.

He leaned over and dunked in the toilet, flushing it.  "I think it 
died of a heart attack.  But if not, I hope it can't swim!"  he 
delared dryly.

He bought me a flash light the next day and brought it home after
 work.  He told me I could either use it to see the vermin or knock 
em out but not to wake him again!

"Yes Sir Baby!"

Yes, Sir Baby!

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