Darcie Maranich

Darcie Maranich


My family doesn’t do the ham thing on Easter. Rather, we have a long-standing tradition of holding a backyard barbecue every Easter. This year was no different. After sufficiently stuffing ourselves with deviled eggs and jellybeans, my family was sitting around the patio table in the backyard as my husband manned the grill. I should tell you that our house is very rural. We live on an acre out in the desert. Just over the wall from our landscaped backyard, there exists every species of cacti, reptile and desert animal you’ve ever come across. Back to my story though. So there we were, sitting around the patio table when we heard the most disturbing screechy, squeaky sound I’ve ever heard. Those of us tall enough to peer over the wall ran to it and, well, peered over. And that, my friends, is when we saw a really long, really yucky snake. (Is there any other kind?) This particular one was a coachwhip, which I’m assured are not venomous.

The snake must have felt the vibrations of our feet because he was slithering along the wall in a hurry. When my husband jumped the wall to get a closer look the snake slithered right up into an ocotillo cactus. Before witnessing the maneuver with my own two eyes, I had no idea that snakes could climb like that and—quite honestly—I might sleep a bit better at night had I not seen it. Anyway, the snake climbed the ocotillo. The kids got a good look at him. I snapped some pictures and then we all returned to the table. End of story, right?


A few minutes later we heard the screechy squeaking again. This time, when we ran to look, we saw the teensiest baby bunny being tormented (read: almost eaten) by that big old mean snake. It being Easter and all, we had no choice but to scare the snake right back up into that ocotillo while we rescued the bunny. Some quick Googling revealed that mother bunnies don’t reject baby bunnies if they’ve been handled by humans and so we snatched the baby bunny up into the safety of our backyard. I wish I could tell you that the story ended there. Unfortunately, it would be only a matter of minutes until we heard another screech and came to find that darn snake trying to make dinner out of our rescued bunny’s brother (or sister, it’s hard to say).

Before all was said and done, we ended up rescuing three tiny baby (Easter) bunnies from one very stubborn, and probably very hungry, snake. I did feel kind of bad for interfering with the snake’s meal plans, but I couldn’t very well have allowed those bunnies to be eaten on Easter—whether they were wrapped in pastel foil or not.

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