The post title is attributed to my grandfather, deceased before I was conceived but whose advice has lived for generations. With all the insanity on the internet, these words come to mind often; real life seems to prove them true as well.
Yesterday afternoon, Tad and I were in our room when we heard Stephen call out, “Mom! Quick! Look in the front yard!” The insistent tone of his voice compelled me to rush to the nearest window as I yelled in his general direction, “What is it?” while in the same movement, scan the yard. His disconcerting answer? “I don’t know.”
He’s ten…surely if he didn’t know, it had to be dangerous. A reasonable, albeit delusional, mom conclusion.
We heard Aussie barking just prior to Stephen’s frantic exclamation which can mean just about anything…a neighbor jogging, another dog on the prowl, rabbits, raccoons, squirrels, a mail delivery, an axe murderer walking up the driveway, you name it. She’s indiscriminate in her bark, and although she’s woofed “wolf” often enough for us to barely give her notice, it does serve as a sort of ambient “intruder alert” (we fully understand there is no bite attached to her bark, just don’t mention that to the serial killers).
We had ignored it until Stephen barked, too.
I scanned our yard closest to the house first, and then with a gradual outward sweeping glance…left to right, right to left. I searched for whatever it was that had caused Stephen (and Aussie) concern.
Maybe 50 yards? 75? from our house, the yard begins a steep decline; from my second-floor window, it looks like it simply drops off (although it’s not actually that steep). Out of the corner of my eye, I finally saw “it”–
A cobra…upright, with it’s hood flattened and extended.
Tennessee is home to 32 species of snakes, four of them venomous. Cobras are not one of them. I concluded rather quickly it wasn’t a snake, but obviously not thinking clearly, my next thought was ostrich. At this point, all indications are that I need a tune up on my seven-year-old lasik treatment.
I grabbed our digital camera, flew down the stairs, ran outside, eager to catch a glimpse of whatever it was fleeing our yard; Aussie had not stopped barking so I had to move fast (other creatures don’t know she’s scared of her shadow).
I got to the edge of our driveway, and “it” was gone. I couldn’t have been more disappointed not to have discovered the cobritch? ostra? that minutes earlier had teased and taunted me, terrified (and confused) my son, spun my dog into a canine frenzy…. Until I noticed our new neighbors standing in their front yard, clearly entertained by the very thing I was seeking.
I walked over, introduced myself, and in the same breath, asked if they knew what Aussie had been barking at. They did…they even took pictures. And God bless their neighborly soul, they remembered my email and sent pictures to us.
Thing is, I’m not sure who’s the bigger turkey–these guys or me!
That was great! If you lived in my state, they would already be full of bird-shot.
Are you smokin’ pencil shavings again?
They look like ostriches to me…no..not ostriches…cobras! They look like cobras.
How do people tell those two things apart?
I think ostriches are WAY scarier than cobras, but that’s just me.
Hey, thanks for popping over to my place. It was a little deep in sad there, but I’m much better- and even plagiarizing for Swampy (I’m intrepid like that). Anyway, I’ve read your blog before (but didn’t realize you were penseive at WT’s)and believe it or not was intimidated out of commenting. You’re a very impressive writer and I could never see someone like you appreciating a comment from me.
The award from WT put me over that edge though. If you can be that smart (ostrich/cobra? honest mistake) AND mean I mean snarky or is it dingo-y to WT you’re my kinda gal! Thanks for stopping by. I’ll be back, although not in an Arnold Schwartzeniegetr (hmm, can you tell I don’t live in CA) way.
You had me rolling!!
We just had a flock of them in our front yard (I think it was two mornings ago) there must have been 25. Then Molly (the three-legged wonder) chased them off. I couldn’t get to the camera fast enough!
those turkeys are terrorizing our neighborhood too.
taking over the country! I know they are native in some areas of the country, but not ours.
Great post!!!! Their heads are a little cobra-ish, right? too funny.
that looks truly terrifying. of course, so do ostriches – nasty beady eyes and a pecky beak.
I’m confused, did the turkeys eat the cobra? And what are you doing keeping Aussies in your yard? I’ve got a half a mind to call the Embassy.
And what the hell is going on with bloglines!?!?! This was posted 8 hours ago and still hasn’t showed up.
i love wild turkeys. love ’em. every now and then you’ll see one right in the city. there used to be one that i saw every evening on my way home from work.
after a few months, it disappeared. i was so disappointed. i thought i was the only one….but then a few days later a sign appeared, stuck in the dirt. it said, “where’s the turkey?”
and then a few days after that, someone posted an answer: Dead. killed on I-280.
there were a few more postings–it was like a blog! only written on paper and stuck in the mud!
anyway it was a lot of fuss over one turkey, but that’s the way we are here in australia. or wherever it is that i live….
Turkeys. Cobras. Same thing!
You tell a great story… had me hooked all the way to the end. (What a turkey I am!) It’s been great to catch up with you here. You’re so prolific. End-of-summer activities and sick relatives have made me a little scarce in blogland lately. Hopefully I’ll stop by more frequently this fall!
(BTW, your grandfather–God rest his soul–is very wise!)
Hey, it made a great blog post!
What floors me is how quickly you went from cobra to ostrich!!! The similarities are uncanny. 🙂
Tiggerlane, so wouldja eat it or just hang it’s tail on the wall??
Swampy, no way! But I did eat some interesting tasting brownies…;).
Min, I had no idea there were so many of “us”, lol.
Jenn, me? Intimidating? HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO SAY IT??? I’M A POWDERPUFF!!! Who, apparently at least until WT’s next Dingo Award, is the reigning Queen of Snark. (Sincerly…thank you for your kind words. They mean more than you could ever know :)).
Michelle, you had an entire FRICKIN’ RAFTER OF TURKEYS AND NO PICCHAS TO PROVE IT??! I bet you caught a reeeaal big fish, too ;).
Pamela, I’m starting to feel all Hitchcock-y freaked out…is Tippi Hedron anywhere nearby???
Karmyn, thanks sweets (and thank you for your kind words at Peter’s…lawsy, I needed a few!).
T.O.B., Agreed…nothin’ worse than “beady eyes and a pecky beak”…except for a coiled cobra ready to strike!
WT, TypePad got word I was the Reigning Queen of Snark and refuses to let me be updated in Bloglines. Thanks for nothin’, you turkey!
Laurie, Now THAT would’ve made a GREAT blog post! Hee lair e us! Can you imagine taking pictures of the posters each day? Thanks for popping over…hope it wasn’t too frightening!
Nikki, see comment to Min.
E-mom, I MISSED YOU! But for the “sad” reasons you’ve been away, ((hugs)) :). It was good catchin’ up a bit…although I’m never REALLY “caught up”, am I? :/
Thanks, Beckie, I laughed the entire time I was writing it :).
Robert, See comment to Nikki ;).
I had to come back and say something similar just happened to me. Finishing up my run this morning, into the sun mind you, I saw what I thought was a beautiful, red/orange breasted bird. Turned out to be a Cheetos wrapper. Not to steal your thunder but I had to blog it!
lol, cobra, turkeys, ostrich…same thing….but so long as it’s all in YOUR YARD and not mine….;)
the only thing that visits my yard are weeds, no wait, they don’t visit, they stay!
That made me laugh. A lot.
(I’m with you though – very easily mistaken for each other, but then, I haven’t had new glasss in about 4 years)