During the time my husband, Rick, and I lived in the country, some neighbors down the road told us we could swim in their pool. We hadn’t been swimming in a long time, and we wanted to go one day when they were out of town, since we thought we would feel more comfortable that way. We walked down the forest-lined road where we occasionally spotted eagles and weasels, only to find that the pool filter had broken. Since we were surrounded by wildlife, it was starting to resemble a pond. There was scum on the surface of the water, and it was teeming with life. (My husband said he saw some frogs jump in.)
We didn’t really want to get into the infested pool, but we really wanted to swim, so pretending it wasn’t any different than a natural body of water, we took the plunge. After swimming several laps, I noticed something out of the corner of my eye, and I turned to find a two-foot snake happily swimming beside me. I wasn’t sure what kind it was, but I didn’t take the time to find out. I said something to Rick, and we swam to the edge of the pool and climbed out as quickly as possible.
Watching it from the safety of the deck, my husband thought it was a king snake, since it was black with light yellow rings. They’re not poisonous, but no one wants to be bitten by anything, and we knew someone who was bitten by a king snake and became ill. Rick used a net with a long handle to scoop the serpent out of the water, taking it to the woods which bordered the back yard, and we felt all was clear.
I got back into the pool, enjoying the cool temperature and exercise, but it wasn’t long before another king snake, closer to three feet in length, swam alongside me. Moving at Olympic speed, I once again hurried out of the water. Rick pulled the creature out, but we decided we’d had enough nature for one afternoon. I realize now how much filters can help a pool, but I’m sure it wouldn’t have been as bad if we’d been in a city or town. I think we learned our lesson concerning messy swimming pools.