While bustling about this morning (as much as one can bustle on crutches) I happened to cast a glance at my sandal lying on the floor of the foyer. Lying athwart the shoe was what I first interpreted as a loose shoelace. My interpretation, however, had to be rapidly revised when the shoelace gave a little writhe, and a tiny little forked tongue darted out its front end:
I darted for my camera, which I happened to have handy, and then called the rest of the family to come admire our visitor, which was about the girth of a standard pencil, though about twice as long. It occurred to me that the little beastie looked an awful lot like a tiny little copperhead (a quite venomous local hazard), so I warned the children back, telling them to hold the dogs, and hobbled over to the laptop in the kitchen. It took me no time to determine that our guest was not a copperhead after all, but an infant Eastern Milk Snake, a harmless -- indeed, beneficial -- hunter of small rodents and insects. As I came back into the foyer, I found that Wonder Woman, who is utterly fearless with bugs and spiders, had gently scooped up the serpent, cooing endearments to it the while, and taken it outdoors and deposited it in a shady place in the front beds.
Glad she waited until it was, you know, safe.