Particular About Predators

This is my response to the Friday Fictioneers prompt for December 26. The challenge is to write a 100-word story inspired by the photo prompt. Play along by writing your own, reading others and/or commenting on the flashes we fictioneers create. The photo prompt this week comes from Bjorn Rudberg, a fine fellow that all of you should take the time to meet.  My piece this week weighs in at 105 words, just slightly over the limit, but I think you’ll all forgive me in the spirit of Christmas charity.

Copyright Bjorn Rudberg

Copyright Bjorn Rudberg

Particular About Predators

Dottie hated descending the stairs into the cellar on Grandma’s farm. Snakes lived down there. When she complained, Grandma said, “Those are just little ol’ black snakes. They’re afraid of you. Leave them alone. They eat rats.” Dottie didn’t like rats, and she knew better than to sass Grandma. Instead, she avoided the cellar.

One morning, Dottie and Grandma were collecting eggs when they saw a black snake slither into a nest box. Instantly, Grandma grabbed the snake and gave its neck a twist. Its head popped off, and Grandma tossed the carcass out of the chicken coop. “Can’t have that thief stealing my eggs.”

Author’s note: The story this week takes us back to my great grandmother’s farm. We were there last week with a fictionalized story set in the Dust Bowl. This story brings us into the late 1950s and early 1960s when several double cousins (including my mom and her cousin Sharon) spent some of the best days of their lives on the farm. This story is a collage of sorts based on two different memories. My mom specifically remembers Grandma being protective of black snakes because they hunted the rats that caused problems on the farm. Sharon remembers Grandma snapping the head off a black snake for sucking eggs in the chicken coop. I believe it is fair to assess that Grandma appreciated all life–as long as that life stayed where it belonged.