Last Sunday night I zipped around the corner in my wee abode to look up a word in my big fat American Heritage Dictionary, Third Edition which sits atop my favorite piece of furniture I bought with last year's income tax refund at Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson. That piece of furniture is my Thomas Jefferson Dictionary Stand.
The door frame at the entrance was going to cause problems because it was not level with the floor, meaning I would have to heave the trash can up a few inches to throw the snake out. How was I going to do that? How was I going to physically throw the snake inside the trash can with the dictionary on top out the door so that the snake did not make a rapid return into my peaceable kingdom?
It didn't take long for me to reach the door frame with the snake inside the trash can with the dictionary on top.
Gathering what was left of my being, I heaved the trash can with dictionary across the door frame, screamed louder than before and slammed the door before the snake could race back in.
Out in the hallway Margo yelled: “It’s out! It’s out! It’s slithering!” I cracked open the door and could see the snake's back side as it rolled over and over trying to upright itself before it crawled to a nearby wall crevice.
*Answer: The votes are in for: a checkered garter snake, a copperhead, a brown snake, a brown rat snake, an eastern hognose. Susan Watson, a terrestrial wildlife biologist with the Virginia Bureau of Wildlife Resources, says: eastern garter snake.