I (do not) like to do the wild thing

tree frog

tree frog

Well, hello there little fella. Who invited you in? Friends, meet the tree frog who likes to swim in my watering can. He's a stowaway, bumming a ride inside the house. When I set the can in the kitchen sink, he plans his escape. But he's busted. I see him. He sees me. He poses for a few photos. And then, it's game on.

With all his might, he leaps. I spend ten minutes chasing him around the kitchen, armed with a plastic cup and a paper towel. Finally, I grab him, stifle a scream and toss him out the back door.

I have moved to wild kingdom. To a place where lizards leap from bush to the banister. Where wasps make themselves way too comfortable on my front porch. Where tiny bunnies hop across the back yard and turtles demand snacks. Recently, when my sons and I sat by the pond, we were amazed at how the turtles swam toward us and stuck their heads out of the water. How cute, I thought. Until a neighbor walked by and said, "They want you to feed them."

What? Are they turtles or puppies?

Our house backs up to a wooded area. We live near the Ashley River. So I shouldn't have been surprised when we were warned not once or twice, but eight different times, by eight different people, to watch out for snakes.

Snakes!?

Yes, snakes. Copperheads, to be exact. Poisonous, one-bite-will-mess-you-up-real-good copperheads. My mother-in-law, who always comes to visit bearing clipped coupons and "As Seen on TV" gifts, showed up recently with a pair of boots and packages of moth balls. "Snake repellent," she assured. She donned the boots and went out into the woods and spread them around. This comforts me not one bit.

That's because pictures like these are freaking me out:

copperhead snake

copperhead snake

One of my friends (who, admittedly, does not live in my neighborhood) discovered this copperhead, curled up on the path leading to her front door. He apparently had no desire to eat her because there was a huge lump in his belly. Digesting lizards, perhaps. When her husband released the snake far, far away from their home, he said the snake looked back at him, as if to say, "See ya," before he slithered away.

And then another friend (who lives in Virginia) emailed me a series of photos and videos of two huge black snakes, getting busy in her children's sand box. They were doing the wild thing right there on the play set, next to a toy truck. I opted not to share those images here. Feel free to use you imagination.

The next time you hear me talking about taking risks or facing our fear, just know, from the bottom of my heart, I am not talking about snakes. Snakes, I have no love for you. Get your groove on in someone else's back yard. If I see you, I might lose my mind and pelt you with moth balls.

What scares the moth balls out of you?