So, I drop M off at preschool this morning, and there's a small gaggle of moms clustered around one of the cars, peering under it and looking concerned. After I brought M in, I decided to give in to the nosiness and see what was going on. There was a copperhead snake hiding under the car -- apparently, it had crossed the parking lot right in front of one of the moms, then found a place it liked and was taking a nap two feet from the preschool's playground.
I'll admit, my first reaction was "oooh, cool! A snake! Let me see!" I've never seen a snake outside of a zoo before, so I was kind of curious. But as it was pointed out that copperheads are poisonous, I remembered that M would be the first kid to try to hug snakey should it ever venture onto the playground. Not so good. Clearly, the snake needed to move faaar away from the kid-infested area.
We called animal control, but they said that (a) it'd cost $150 for them just to come out, (b) it would take them at least an hour to get there, and (c) someone would have to stay and "babysit" the snake, because they'd charge extra if they had to search for it. So, lord forgive me, I mused out loud that maybe it'd be better if the mom whose car it was simply, oh, moved her car forward a foot or two and --ahem-- ended the problem.
So that's what we decided to do. One of the other moms queued her car up behind to do the actual rolling, and I was positioned between the snake and the playground with a garden rake, just in case he decided to make a break for the playground. Which, of course, he did. So I beat him to death. And then I burst into tears. I've never killed anything larger than a spider before (and even then, I feel a little guilty), and killing the snake was horrible. It didn't mean any harm and it couldn't fight back.
Ugh. I feel terrible and guilty and wrong. I keep telling myself that it could have bitten M or any one of the other kids at school, but it's really not helping.