Monday, January 7, 2013

My Bestie Takes On The Snake Pit

   Not many people are as lucky as I am when it comes to besties. I have known my best friend since I was 9 years old. We weren't best friends at first, just kinda knew each other and were neighbors, and then she moved to Florida for a while. When she came back, we really started to click. We started going every where together, doing everything together, living in each other's back pockets. She's three years younger than me, so we didn't hang out at school, but after school we were glued at the hip.
   And we are still close. Many people grow distant from the friends that they grew up with, they move, grow apart, fight over stupid things. Well, we did fight over stupid things, and usually those stupid things were my fault, but we never grew apart. We moved, and now I'm a single mom of one who holds a job and goes to college in Washington, and she's a married, stay-at-home mom of two in Mississippi, who also goes to college. And anyone who is a stay-at-home mom knows that only a complete and total bad ass can fill this role. Stay-at-home moms have thankless, payless jobs and often have to listen to way to many bon-bon cracks. No vacation, sick time, promotions, but they do it anyway. (Not knocking us working moms, our jobs aren't easy either.) God bless stay-at-home moms, and you are all in my ultimate bad ass book, but I digress.
   One of the best kept secrets about my bestie --she's a total bad ass. Not many people get to see this side of her, but I have many times. I can tell you: you've gotta watch those quiet ones. I wouldn't mess with her; she is fierce. She is, as she reads this, probably thinking that I am full of shit right about now. But I'm going to prove you wrong. I'm going to tell you the story of the snake-pit. Oh yeah. I have a snake-pit story.
   We grew up in the country. My Dad owns five acres of land, and from age 9 to age 15, this is where I lived. Though the surrounding land has now been flattened and made into cow pastures, the land was once lush, Southern wetlands. And my bestie's, my sister's, and my favorite past times: exploring. We were always in the woods. We made our parents crazy. They could never find us and we always came how soaked (we had a habit of jumping into every creek we could find) and mud stained (you have to DIG for the crawdads, now. How else were we supposed to catch them?)
   The story takes place while we were deep in the wetland/woods, with myself leading the way. I always lead the way, but my bestie always got us home. That girl has a compass in her head or something; she was never lost and could always get us home, no matter how deep into the woods we went. Well, I was leaping over this funky pit in the ground because I didn't want to step in it. Holes in the grounds in the woods are not always what they seem, especially when the floor of the woods is actually kinda swampy. And it's a GOOD THING that I did not step in that hole because I would probably not be here today. My sister jumped over the hole, and my bestie was about to, when it raised up it copper-colored head. A copperhead. And closer inspection revealed more than one.
Freaky, huh? Imagine finding a pit of these.
   I know you are thinking, well go around the hole, but this wasn't as easy as sounds. Wetlands, remember, we were on the only dry strip of land. Around us, untested waters. We didn't know how deep that water was, or what was in it. Mississippi has water moccasins, alligators, and snapping turtles (doesn't sound as bad? They'll take your toes clean off, my bestie still has scars from one that took the top of her toe off when we were jumping in a creek.) We did jump into creeks, but this was a bigger body of water than that and the water was murky as hell. We couldn't see a thing. So we were kinda at a loss, my sister and I, because we were way to scared to jump back over the freaking snake pit. Our parents had firmly ground into our heads: copperhead = death. Without a word my bestie takes off, and we thought we were abandoned. Well, we did get around the snake pit, we took the plunge and got in the water, getting back on land as soon as we were past the snakes. But we were lost without our compass, until we found her (or she found us, uncanny, that one), running back. She had dashed back to my house, quick as a flash, gotten the BB guns that my dad had gotten us for Christmas, and was on her way back: fully loaded and ready to take on some snakes and rescue us. Although as an adult, the thought of a 12 year old girl opening fire on a snake-pit  with a BB gun makes me cringe, at the time she was taking on a pit of death for us. Can't get more bad ass than that.
   Not all people see this side, but this is just one time out of many, that I have seen her bad ass show. She's all grown up now, but this just means that she is even more of a bad ass. Sometimes people don't realize this, but believe me, after 20 years of friendship, I know. I wouldn't mess with her, but on the other hand, she is the best friend you could ever have.
   (By the way, neither of our sets of parents ever heard this story, so I'm now a tattletale.)

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