Corner Column


On more than one occasion I have read about animals, such as snakes, seeking higher ground during all this wet weather.

But the top of our office front door, really? Did he think the water would get that high?

And on the day the paper comes back from the press, no less. That’s no way to attract customers.

I’m not certain how long the fellow had been there when I spotted him, or whether anyone came in while he was there.

We were having a casual conversation with a visitor in the front lobby when I noticed the metal grate over the front door seemed to have taken on some ornamental flourishes that I did not remember.

As I tried to remain engaged in the conversation, it began to dawn on me that what I was seeing through the tinted glass was not normal.

When it first hit me that it might be a snake, and a rather sizable one, I tried to talk myself out of that notion.

But soon I had to take a few steps that way to confirm, and found myself eye to eye with what turned out to be a five-foot or so rat snake.

Now I am a big believer that certain snakes are good for the environment, and I won’t assist one in meeting its demise unless it is A. poisonous and B. near my domicile.

A few copperheads met their untimely end by doing just that at our last residence, but rat snakes, et al, are usually left to their own devices. I mean, after all, what’s wrong with something whose chief intent is to decrease the population of rodents?

Why in the world this one wandered, apparently from the wooded area just a few steps from our door, up the metal grate about five or so feet from the ground is beyond me. I cannot imagine it had a prayer of capturing anything edible up there. There were no bird nests or obvious places for mice to be, so it’s a real puzzle.

It took a bit of gentle prodding from a broom handle to convince him that he did not need to be on my door, nor even on the adjacent window, and eventually decided that heading down was his best bet and then back toward the aforementioned wilds nearby. Once there it soon blended into the surroundings.

It’s an area that appears like it might harbor plenty for him to eat. And it wasn’t like it was flooding that day, though heaven knows the area around the building has been blessed with plenty of moisture these past few months.

We’re beginning to wonder if Monitor might mean “a river runs through it” in another language.

I do know that other definitions of monitor include a type of large lizard and a famous Civil War ironclad ship that battled the south’s Merrimack at Hampton Roads.

Hmmm. Reptiles and water. Could be something to this.