As I was relaxing on the deck of my cabin in northern Maine, I heard a loud shriek from within. “Oh, my God!” my best friend of 40 years screamed. “There’s a snake in the camp!”

I cautiously stepped inside and sure enough, there he was – head poking out from under the cabinet by the sliding doors. I nearly fainted. Yikes! Susan, my friend, found the broom, and we opened the slider. I went out on the deck, grabbing hedge clippers, the first weapon I could find. Expertly handling the broom, Susan whisked that snake out the door straight at me! I screamed bloody murder, jumped up on the deck railing and helplessly watched it slither under the camp. Shaking, we both let out a huge sigh of relief and we went about our business thinking he was gone for good.

Before climbing in bed that night, I checked under the beds and bureaus, even under the covers, until I was confident it was all clear. Headlamp on, I was nodding off while reading my book, when I suddenly heard a rustling in the corner. “Susan, did you hear that?” I yelled. She flew out of bed and we started carefully looking under all the furniture … Peering behind the gas stove, what did I see but that big ol’ snake, black as night, curved like an elongated “S.” “He’s back!” I screeched. We both bolted out of the room, slammed the door shut and decided to deal with him in the morning.

The night was long, but I managed to get some uneasy shut-eye. When morning came, we gathered up the broom and tiptoed into the bedroom. Nothing under the stove, all clear under the settee and clear below the bureaus. Then I peered below the bed …! There he was, bigger and blacker than before but way too distant from the door. We didn’t have the gumption to tackle him there, so we quickly closed the door and decided to wait it out.

Throughout the morning we returned to the snake pit, searching, but he was gone. We phoned our husbands, who were coming up that night, and told them to march themselves to the nearest hardware store and find out how to be rid of a snake in a camp! The men arrived later with snake repellent and we sprinkled it around the camp before bed.

As snoring emanated from all corners, the loons and I were wide awake. I heard the familiar sound of a mouse scuttling about the camp. No problem, I like mice. Suddenly, there was a “whoosh” in the kitchen and all mouse noises stopped. I froze in my bed and visualized that snake snapping up the mouse and having a feast. I envisioned a big bulge in his slimy body where digestion set in. Did I get up and look? NO WAY! I lay there anxiously awaiting daylight.

In the morning, I heard Susan saying to to her husband, “Why was there a dead mouse in front of the refrigerator? Did you step on it last night?”

“It was the snake!” I yelled from the other room. Now, you can make any inference you want, but I know the snake killed the mouse. Why he didn’t eat it … I’ll leave to the reader to ponder. We can laugh about it now, but at the time, we were terrified of our uninvited guest! And, thankfully, we haven’t seen him since.

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