Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What's Under Your Hood?

One autumnal morning, about 20 years ago, I was driving to work. There was a slight chill in the air but not enough for a heavy coat. It was after my maternal grandmother passed away and I was staying with my grandfather at night to keep him company. I was dressed for my retail job as a sales person for a regional retail chain. I had the window down enjoying the cool air and taking in the changing colors of the leaves on my twenty mile drive to the mall. Traffic was light and I had the stereo up, just enjoying myself before the work day officially began. About half way to work, I saw something moving in the gap between the fender and the hood on the driver's side. I didn't think much of it. I figured it was just a leaf or a small twig from the tree I parked under at my grandfather's. Another mile passed, it was still there, waving in the breeze. Only now it seemed to have moved toward the front grill. A bit odd, but I shrugged it off. I slowed to stop behind some cars at the first light on my trip. It was still moving. Now I was curious. I sure didn't seem to be a leaf or twig. I started as the other cars moved. As I reached speed, a huge snake flew back into the windshield right in front of me. I'm not sure if my yell was audible or silent, but I know I did. The first thought through my mind was it was in the back seat. I twisted the rear view mirror in every direction I could while still driving to get a look back there. I didn't see it. Then I thought it was in the floor. I keep waiting for it to crawl from underneath my seat, between my legs. I was to afraid to stop and too close to being late for work, so I continued on. Finally after a tormenting 30 minute drive, I pulled into the employee parking area at the mall. I gathered my stuff quickly and nearly jumped from the car. I looked in the back seat, on the rear floor, nothing. I hoped it wouldn't be curled up on the driver's seat when returned to leave for the day.

After work, I slowly stalked around the car. I knocked on windows, shook the car. Nothing. I finally decided maybe it hadn't came through the window after all. I got in, still cautious and started up the car. The drive home wasn't as nerve wrecking as the drive in had been, but far from leisurely. I passed the place where it flew out from under the hood. There on the road was the snake. I guess it went completely over the car, and the one behind me ran over it. Now, I clear all leaves from the hood before I get into the car. Just in case.


Lemuel said...


Snakes and I do not get along. They are one (of few) critters that I would be just as happy did not exist. I fear that I would not have been half as composed as you were after the snake hit the windshield.

Anonymous said...

I would not have been able to complete the drive to work unless I knew the snake was NOT in the car. I can only imagine what others who may have been in the parking lot were thinking seeing you walk around your car and rocking it.

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