Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Guest Post with Jamarla on Reading By the Book Blog

Gives Me The Wiggles
There are a lot of good looking men in this world who give me the wiggles, in a good way. But there is one thing that will set me off in a shiver of absolute dread – and that is snakes. I thought about that this morning when I went outside to check the mail box. I stepped off my front porch and walked a few steps, when I heard a rustle. I looked back and nearly died! I had stepped over a huge snake, a water moccasin, at least 5 foot long, which means he is my size! He didn’t do anything but slither on off, but I swear he was as big around as my arm. At some times of the year they can be very aggressive, so I was very lucky.
I have seen moccasins try to get in the boat with you and crawl up on the bank after you, this occurs during mating season, mostly. They are very dangerous and very poisonous. My dad was very scared of snakes and once he came in and told us he had run over one as big as a tire. Well, I knew he had to be exaggerating, but a friend and I went down into the pasture and sure enough, we found a big snake and killed him. You might think this is cruel, but we had baby calves who would have died from a bite. But however big it was, it wasn’t tire size. However, my uncle was bush-hogging a little later and ran over something, it was big enough to jar his tractor. So, he got off to see what it was – and sure enough it was a granddaddy snake – huge, massive – very deadly. He had killed it with the blade.
Our area was known for those snakes. My grandfather used to tell me that a traveling carnival came to town one year and there was a man who claimed he could charm snakes. He even issued a challenge for anyone to bring any snake to him and he would charm it. Some mean boys in town brought him a big moccasin and the man tried, but the snake bit him and he died. I also have a neighbor who pulled back her covers to get in bed one day – and there one was – not a moccasin, but a black snake. It wouldn’t have to be poisonous to kill me. If I found one in my bed, that would be the last time I slept there. Another lady told me she had one in her house, she had spotted it lying over the fireplace mantel, all stretched out. At first, she didn’t know what it was. She stared at it until it moved and then she screamed and went to get her husband. When they returned, it was gone. Later that night, she heard it in the kitchen cabinets, moving from one shelve to the next. He got it that time.
When my Mom was younger, she and her cousins would go swim down in the pond. There was a narrow trail that led to the water, closed in tight by thick bushes on either side. Uncle Clarence led the way, guiding the other six or seven kids to the lake. To his surprise, a snake met him in the path and instead of turning away and crawling into the bushes, it reared up on its tail and looked Clarence in the eye and he, not knowing what to do, began to punch at it. As he would punch, the snake would dodge – left – right – left – right. Clarence never landed a blow, but he did assert his dominance and the snake finally gave up and slithered away.
I’m telling you all this to tell you a funny story. Last year, I had decided I was going to send a photo of myself to a friend. It was going to be a sexy pose on the bed, and I undressed for the role. I set up my tripod and got myself all ready. I was nervous. I wasn’t used to trying to be a centerfold model. So, I decided to go to the bathroom before setting the timer on the camera and posing. This was at our deer camp, so the bathroom wasn’t big. I got in there and sat down and felt something watching me. I looked over on the vanity and there was this huge snake just staring at me. I didn’t stay on the pot, but I did pee. I literally levitated from where I was at and sailed from the room. I jerked on a robe and called my uncle who came later and found the crack in the floor where the monster got in and he also found a couple more snakes and got rid of them for me. Obviously, the sexy picture waited until another day, but I did get it taken and dispatched it to the proper party. Ha! – That’s another story.
In my part of the world snake stories have a life of their own. Everybody has one or two or more. There are always photos in the paper of men holding up rattle snakes, longer than they are. It reminds me of a cartoon, I always enjoyed. It showed a bored man, standing by his wife. The wife’s hair is standing straight up. They are surrounded by houseplants. And the caption reads, “Well, when you live in a jungle, you have to expect snakes.” And I do, I live in the swamp and snakes live here too. That’s one reason I have cats, the more cats you have, the less snakes you have. But I wouldn’t want any of them to tangle with the big one that I stepped over this morning.
I have written about snakes a couple of times – in Cowboy Heat and TROUBLE. Here’s a good scene from TROUBLE.

Kyler Landon smoothed the supple leather with a large, roughened hand. The saddle was almost completed. This particular saddle would go to the Houston Livestock Rodeo and be presented to the current World Champion cowboy. It was solitary work, but work he enjoyed. Tooling patterns on the leather was his favorite thing, this one had a vine pattern, and the brand of the cowboy’s ranch figured prominently in the design. Letting his mind wander, he found himself caressing the leather, remembering the last time he touched the velvety skin of a woman. Stop! He tried to turn his mind away from sex. He tortured himself night after night with images of a soft, sweet woman who would welcome him between her thighs. He wanted a woman who would let him love her as much and as often as he wanted. A woman that would enjoy his loving as much as he enjoyed loving her.
It had been a long time, too damn long. Dallying with the local girls could get you into a whole passel of trouble—especially a man in his position.
The sound of a vehicle stopping at his front gate pulled him from his sensual reverie. He imagined it was the mysterious little black car from down the road, but he knew better. This was a bigger engine. Sometimes, when he was working out in the front yard, that car would go by and slow down to a crawl. The windows were tinted completely black, a great deal darker than was legal, he knew. So, he was at a disadvantage. He couldn’t see who was behind the wheel, but whoever it was could sure the hell see him. And they had looked, long and hard. He could actually, physically, feel their gaze on his skin.
Hell, he had even fantasized about who was driving that sexy little car. Once, when he had been working on the front fence without a shirt, the driver had actually run off the road. That fact had made him smile. Whoever it was, he was getting to them. As his luck ran, however, the driver was probably a woman in her seventies or a man in his forties. But one could dream.
He sat there too long, dreaming. He heard the vehicle leave. Rising from his chair, he made his way out of the Saddlery shop and across the yard to the main house. A package sat by the front door. ‘Must have been UPS,’ he thought. Good! He had been waiting on some custom silver belt buckles for a special order. Taking the six front steps in two leaps, he grabbed the package from the floor, opened the door, and let himself in.
Laying the cardboard box on the coffee table, he grabbed a beer and headed back to the yard. The belt buckles would have to wait. One of these days, a cold front would head this way and he would want to put a fire in the fireplace, so wood needed to be split. He opened his mouth to call the dogs, but then remembered he had taken them to the vet for their annual check-up and shots.
Today, it would just be him. Alone again. Going to the side of the house, he retrieved his axe. Chopping wood would go a long way to working off some of his sexual frustration. Maybe. Hell, it was worth a try. The wood was piled out front near the gate, a mix of red oak and hickory, as good for barbeque as it was for heat. He swigged the beer, and then set the bottle up on top of a fence post. Ky had employees who could have done this work for him, but he like to keep in shape and there was nothing better than real physical labor to put on layers of muscle—it beat the crap out of a gym, any day.
It didn’t take long for him to find his rhythm and even a shorter time for him to get hot and decide to shed his shirt. As he worked, he reviewed his plans for the next few days. Tomorrow was his day to put time in at his animal shelter, Saturday was Angel Pantry day and not a woman in sight for the best date night of the week. Shit!

Cooper drove slowly by the Landon place. Ah, sweet Lord! There he was. And the fact she had been a good girl was paying off in spades. The powers-that-be had seen fit to reward her by letting the sun beat down hot enough to cause Gorgeous to shed his shirt. She slowed to a crawl. Sometimes, he would stop working and watch her drive by. Today, he appeared too busy to notice. A movement at the side of the woodpile caught her eye. What in the world? Cooper was alarmed to see a huge snake crawling out of the stacked logs. The vibrations of the axe on the wood had obviously disturbed it. This couldn’t be good.
Cooper pulled over and stopped. Trying to be as quite as possible, she opened the car door but did not shut it. The snake was right behind her neighbor and she was afraid to call out, for fear, any sudden movement on his part would cause the snake to strike. The rhythmic movement of the man and the axe had the snake, seemingly, hypnotized.
She walked as silently as she could, until she was at the fence, right behind the snake. He was coiled and ready to strike. Cooper knew snakes, having grown up on in the deserts of southwest Texas. She quickly recognized that either the rattler had somehow lost his rattles in an accident, or someone had intentionally caught it and removed them for a hat decoration or whatever.
It was now or never. Putting aside her normal reservations about being so close to a man, she decided his safety was more important than her own. Climbing slowly up on the fence, she spoke softly. “Don’t move, Mr. Landon. Don’t move a muscle.” The snake was huge! Coiled up, it was hard to judge, but it could easily top five feet.
The beautifully muscled man slowed his movements, until he was still. “Is this a hold-up?” He asked the question softly, with a touch of humor in his voice.
“No, but there is a major-sized rattlesnake right behind you, and it’s getting ready to strike.”
Ky froze. He didn’t know which he was more concerned about, the idea of a dangerous reptile or the intriguing female voice that made him want to risk turning his head to look and see if the rest of her matched the incredible, husky, little voice.
“Just listen to me. As you know, snakes can’t hear, but they can feel vibrations. I am going to jump off this fence. Hopefully, it will turn on me. When I scream ‘now’, you turn around and whack him with your axe. Please.” She did not hesitate—there wasn’t time.
She jumped. The snake whirled around and immediately struck out at her. “Now!” She dodged backwards for all she was worth, slamming her body into a fencepost. The snake’s deadly fangs grazed her thigh, but from the look of things, distance and the thickness of her jeans saved her from a direct hit. Ky did his part and the snake’s head parted company with its body.
Cooper tried to get up, but the post she had run into had obviously knocked the wind out of her.
“Good Lord!” Ky. Landon looked from the snake to her. “Did he get you?” At her slight negative nod, he quickly picked her up. “Let’s get you in the house and make sure.”
Cooper struggled. “No. No. I’m all right. I can walk, I’m too heavy for you to try and carry.”
“I think I can bear up under your tremendous weight.” Ky looked down at his slight burden. He would have smiled at her consternation, if the situation hadn’t been so serious. Heavens! She was lovely. All he could think of were the words to one of his favorite Elvis songs, ‘Well hello, T-R-O-U-B-L-E.’ Thank God, for trouble.
And here is the link for T-R-O-U-B-L-E
Thanks for reading,
Jamarla. (2013, May 29). Sable Hunter Guest Post - Gives Me the Wiggles. Retrieved from 

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