A few weeks ago I was out... with the kids... for a walk... in a graveyard. The children and I merrily explored the archaic park, and reading the names of people who had died centuries before either of us were born. The General managed to spook a rabbit and send it flying across the graves, barely touching the ground as it skated away. Napoleon and Attila entertained themselves by picking up and relocating snails, all in the search for empty shells. I tried to discourage this. I wasn't too worried about it until Queen Victoria started screaming.
Before I continue I would just like to point out that Victoria has never been a child to scream unnecessarily. In fact, she is normally rather regal in her attention to presentation, pun intended. This was not a normal occasion.
Queen Victoria began racing towards, hollering at the top of her lungs, and nervously searching the ground with her eyes in her haste. While I considered the oddness of her behavior she ran up to me and wrapped her arms around me. Strangely enough, this was the instance that I realized that something might be amiss.
"Snake! In the grass!" she gasped. She eeked. She shrieked. She pointed to where she was standing and put more distance between her and the legless creature.
I looked to where she had been wandering and saw the distinct image of a six foot long rattle snake. At least I think it was a rattle snake. I did not dare get close enough to confirm this or Victoria would burst into tears. That and getting bitten on a lazy Saturday morning where I was the "adult" in charge of four smallish children did not strike me as the wisest of decision.
Suddenly Attila, Napoleon, and the General were right at my side.
"Snake? In the grass?" Napoleon questioned with big eyes, the delight evident in her questions. She eeked. She shrieked. Victoria pointed to where she had just been and then I caught my youngest goddaughter by the collar before she tried to get a closer look at the offending creature.
When I was a child I remember playing a game called "snake in the grass" but as near as I can recall the entire point of the game was to scream and run away. I think I need to teach this game to Napoleon. She really is a gem but I wish she had greater sense of self preservation and a healthy fear of creatures more dangerous than her.