snake the bed, snake the covers verb phrase
See 1972 citation.
1935 Sheppard Cabins in Laurel 48 Aunt Polly can see the old times if not the new. Going barefoot to the long church-house, with rags wrapped around her legs for warmth; “snakin’ the beds” before she would dare crawl in between the covers. 1970 Mull Mt Yarns 7 So “snaking the kivvers,” that is removing all the bed clothes from beds before retiring and shaking them good, became essential. 1972 Cooper NC Mt Folklore 32 In early days, before the family retired for the night, the bedding was removed and shaken lest a snake had slithered into the house and was waiting to strike. This practice was called snaking the beds.
I never thought I’d have to worry about snaking the beds, but I came very close to having to do just that about a week ago.
It was on the day Brasstown received the most rain from the recent tropical depression Alberto. The road we live on sometimes floods at the first creek crossing, so late that afternoon when the college said anyone who lived in a flood prone area needed to go home I got in my car and left. The creek was just up to the top of the culvert on each side of the road, but I made it through fine and went on home.
The girls came in just a few minutes behind me and as the rain continued to pour I suggested they go ahead and take a shower because the power could go off at any time.
Chitter got in the shower and about the time The Deer Hunter walked in the door from work the water quit. The power was still on so that wasn’t the issue.
Chitter was all soaped up and with no water to wash off in she quickly became a sticky mess.
The Deer Hunter had a hard day of work and now it looked like he was going to have a hard evening of work at home fixing the water.
I was in the kitchen trying to finish supper when The Deer Hunter started downstairs to the basement to see if something was wrong with the pressure tank. He opened the door and then quickly shut it and ran around the house looking for something. I said “What is it? Did you figure out what’s wrong with the water?” He said “Do not look down the stairs and hold your ears.”
I noticed he had a gun and immediately knew it was some sort of critter in the basement.
I stuck my fingers in my ears and one shot later it was over.
The four and half foot long blacksnake you see at the top of this post was on the landing of our basement steps. The Deer Hunter knew if he didn’t get the snake killed with one shot we’d be looking all over the house for it and that I would most likely move out till he found it 🙂
I guess the blacksnake took all the rain it could take and decided to try out our basement for its new digs. After I got over being scared to death that a giant snake was in the basement, the girls told me the snake had broken a lot of my jars and old bottles as it climbed along the shelves looking for a place to curl up. Being sweet girls, they cleaned up all the mess for me.
The water turned out to be an easy fix. A lighting strike had burnt up the control box. A quick trip to town for a new one and within five minutes The Deer Hunter had the water restored and Chitter finally got to wash the soap out of her hair.
As we discussed the evening’s excitement I told The Deer Hunter “I can’t believe I live in a house where you need to snake the beds.” He said “So what I always snake mine when I’m at deer camp.”