Teresa Dean Smeigh copyright August 2015
When I was still married and the kids were small we lived on a lake. The beach was our front yard. We had ducks and of course we fished either off the beach or out of the boat we had. We also had a canoe.
The girls were 10 and 12 and my son was 2. They were taught to stay out of the water. They were allowed on the beach, but not in the water without an adult around.
One day I was cleaning in the kitchen at the back of the house when I heard screaming. It was my son. I quickly ran outside and he streaked past me and into the house and on top of the couch.
He was screaming, ” ‘nakes, ‘nakes, ‘nakes!”
I asked the girls what was wrong, but they didn’t seem to know.
I couldn’t get him to calm down, he just kept yelling, ” ‘nakes!”
He would also not get off the couch, but he pointed out the big picture window there in the living room that looked out over the lake and pointing at the lake he said ” ‘nake” again.
Finally it dawned on me. He couldn’t say the word sneakers. They were ‘neakers. Put the S in front and he’s screaming snakes.
Well I made sure he wasn’t bitten and neither were the girls because they were all out there on the beach.
So I had to go out on the beach and see if it was a snake. They were 3 of them swimming through the water. We left everything there and went into the house.
Daddy was on snake duty when he got home from work. One of the hazards of living on a lake. He used to love to stand up in our bedroom and shoot out the front windows besides the picture window and use a B-B gun on the snakes if he could hit them.
My son got older and loved to go turtle hunting. Dad would take him and then he became old enough to take the canoe out himself and catch them. He had a plastic toddler pool filled with all kinds of lake creatures and even a garter snake. He became well enough known that the local paper took a picture of him out on the beach hunting.
And the cat next door loved to fish and would walk out in the water and chase the fish. They took his picture too.