As always, I was working all day, and finally decided to take a break and go for a swim. It was around 4:30pm and I was dying from the unseasonably Todos Santos Mexico humidity and heat. My dad was just leaving the pool area, on schedule, to start his evening routine. He stopped me from going in the water, saying: “Wendy, don’t go in the pool, there’s a snake in there!”
“Oh no!” I hate snakes more than anything. “I don’t want to see it! I’m going back in the house!”
Dad continued to describe the situation as I squirmed.
“I think it could be the snake I saw on my patio this morning. It’s a big black one and Ramon (our gardener) said it wasn’t poisonous. I thought he was going to kill it, but maybe he didn’t.”
“EEWW!! Snakes are my biggest fear, I don’t want to even hear about it!”
Remember, this is Todos Santos, where life is like an episode of “Wild Kingdom” every day. And this day was no exception.
“I was doing my laps with my goggles on, and as I switched direction, I saw it all coiled up on the bottom of the pool. And as I got nearer to it, it stood straight up and rose towards the surface! I got out of the water as fast as I could. He gave me a look that said it all.
“You want ME to get it out?! Why don’t you just grab the big skimmer pole over there and try to lift it out of the water yourself?
“Me? No way. Can’t you go call someone else to do it?” My father, after all, is 93-years-old. Who could blame him for not wanting to remove a big, black snake from the pool?
I went into the house and called my dear neighbor, Tom, who comes to our rescue whenever anything weird happens. I think of him as our guardian angel. He would certainly know what to do. I’m sure he could get it out and throw it over the fence or something. His wife, Nancy, answered the phone and asked me if I thought the snake was dead. I had no idea. I never really saw it. She said Tom was about to start his walk with their dogs and she’d send him over.
Tom immediately took charge. I followed at a safe distance behind him to the pool. He just stood there staring and staring for a while, not saying anything. With a really funny expression on his face, he finally said,” Wendy, I don’t see a snake, but I do see a stick or something.”
“Are you sure it’s not a snake pretending to be a stick?”
He took the pole and bravely poked at it.
“Nope, this is for sure not a snake. After more poking he determined what it was. “It’s a palm frond!”
“No way! How can that be? Dad saw it turn over on its belly and swim up and everything!”
Tom gave me one of those looks that meant, “Are you actually doubting me?”
I was so embarrassed – for me, but especially for my dad. I yelled out towards Dad’s house, ”Hey, Dad! You wanna come out and see your snake? Because guess what? That’s no snake! It’s a palm leaf!”
You crazy loon I whispered to myself.
He couldn’t believe it, but we both started laughing. Just another day in paradise.
Wendy Rains enjoys multiple careers as an International Architectural Designer, Fashion Designer, Artist, Author, Poet, Columnist, Travel Journalist, Ghost Writer, Magazine Publisher, Editor, and Radio Show Host. For the past 12 years Wendy has been living in Todos Santos, Mexico, where she shares 2 ½ acres at the beach with her 94-year young dad. She currently hosts one of only two English radio programs in Southern Baja on Cabo San Lucas’s only radio station.