The headcold came on slowly, just raw throats in the nighttime for a week. Easy to blame on ragweed pollen. Mild earache and slight stuffy nose, just job-related germ-sharing in the preschool room. Dragged myself through a day at the library Saturday, cursing students and hanging on for a round-the-clock snooze.
Sunday the spots started. Fell asleep while doing the crossword puzzle to wake up with newsprint on my cheek. Fell asleep on the couch until a text message from my boss woke me:
We found this snake on our walk,
caught in the erosion control netting.
We set him free. Can you ID?
Just a bit of groggy field guiding and googling to identify the speckled king snake. It's a mighty handsome snake I don't really want to meet. Or maybe I do, ah-choo! King snakes are constrictors that eat other snakes, lizards, rodents, and birds.
Things deteriorated from there despite a Skype session with my intergalactic stellar grandbaby. My youngest texted asking what movie he had watched as a child with a silver spaceship and time travel.
That would be "Flight of the Navigator".
I wondered why I was seeing zipping black dots while I stared out the patio window for a couple zombie days. Was this headache a migraine? Brain cancer? Decongestant side effect? Orange juice overdose? The slow-moving green specks that occasionally jumped from fence to plant were anole lizards, not side effects.
First sick leave day with zinc therapy, vitamins, cough Rx, inhaler, saline solution, ibuprofen and decongestants I was only able to nap and play online Legos at Build With Chrome. Second sick day, I'm lots more perky, still snozzy, but able to see that those rushing black dots are tiny scurrying mice on the patio. No OTC meds will get rid of the mice. Maybe I can borrow the speckled king snake!
© 2012 Nancy L. Ruder