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A wonder-ful moment on the back deck

It wouldn’t exactly qualify for an article in “National Geographic,” but perhaps the latest wildlife adventure on our back deck could fill a few moments on the ever-popular magazine’s new National Geographic Channel, now showing on some cable and satellite dish stations near you.
If you haven’t seen one of the animal shows, or don’t know the show’s channel numbers on your brand of TV service, it is worth finding out. We happened onto Channel 276 on satellite by accident one day while channel hopping. Because we are intrigued by the mysteries of sea and land, especially all forms of wildlife, which National Geographic chronicles so well, we jotted down the channel and now tune in frequently.
(If you’re interested in finding out if the program is available in your area, call 1-800-333-DISH, or log on to, click on TV & Film and check the locator index.)
Anyway, back to the adventures of the wild and free at our home in the woods near Elizabeth. Here’s my perhaps unintriguing but true “wild” story:
I called home the other day for some reason or another, I can’t remember why, but, when my hubby, Virgil, answered, he blurted out excitedly: “You aren’t going to believe what I’m doing. It’s the darndest thing.”
I have become accustomed to just about any type of crisis during our long married life, and I didn’t even raise an eyebrow. Besides, he couldn’t see me anyway. “What? What’s going on?” I asked, with what I hoped was just the right amount of wifely concern and excitement.
“I’m standing here, watching a snake in that big fern out back, and it’s dancing with me! Every time I move, it moves with me. It’s watching me,” Virgil said in absolute … wonder.
Now, we’re not talking a deadly swaying Cobra or monstrous Python or anything like that. “It’s a little bitty thing, about as big around as a pencil,” Virgil sputtered. “But it’s long, and it’s green. A bright green.”
Sputter, sputter some more.
Later, we decided that snake had taken up residence in our fern, especially because right behind that fern on a rail is a decorative birdhouse.
When Virgil first saw our new pet — we named him Slither — Mr. Slither had wound his skinny little self around that birdhouse and was apparently awaiting dinner.
Now, you and I both know what snakes prefer for an evening meal, so the first thing we did was relocate that birdhouse.
We haven’t seen Mr. Slither since.
So we’re taking National Geographic Channel’s motto to heart:
“Always wonder.”