My three year old son was outside with me as I was knee-deep in my garden, tilling the soil for planting. A snake slithered into my view that didn’t look at all like a common garter snake.

Lifting the garden hoe I had in my hands, I hacked the reptile to death with several blows. I then carried his lifeless body away from my house and tossed it off my property and down the hill.

On my way back up, I looked over at my three year old – his eyes wide and mouth open – and realized he (of course) witnessed this entire scenario. A little concerned about how such violence might affect him, I smiled calmly (you know, like Kathy Bates’s character in Misery), explaining that I had to kill the snake as it may have been a dangerous one.


I’m not sure how much he understood, but that boy- who has been on quite the misbehavin’ streak lately –  was oddly obedient the rest of the day.


image credit: Flickr photo by The Marmot