Last night at dinner I asked the kids how camp was that day. The big story was The Snake in the Lake.
Charley began. "I was swimming in the lake during waterfront time. I swam across to the other side and turned around and there was a huge gray SNAKE looking right at me."
(The appearance of the snake became more sinister with each telling. By the time Charley went to bed it had glowing red eyes.)
"Wow! What did you do?" I asked.
"I yelled 'SNAKE!!!!' and everyone started swimming back to the beach to get out. And then! A lifeguard came over to where I was and yelled to the other lifeguard 'All clear! No snake!' then turned to me and said 'I totally see the snake, we just don't want people to freak out.'"
"Crazy!" I said.
Wes piped up. "I hardly got any waterfront time today because right after I got in someone yelled 'SNAKE!!' and we all had to get out."
Charley interrupted, talking with food in his mouth, "Yeah, that was me!"
Wes continued "AND, I hardly got any pool time either because I had to sit out for two minutes for some stupid reason and then there was a snake in the lake!"
"So what happens when there is a snake in the lake?" I wanted to know. "Do they allow the whistle and yell "SNAKE DRILL, EVERYBODY. SNAKE DRILL. EVERYONE BACK TO THE BEACH."
I laughed at my own joke, imagining a Jaws-like scene as a hundred Y-campers ran screaming from the lake.
Wes, looked at me with bored exasperation, "No, Mom. It was not a snake *drill* because there was an actual *snake*."
"Yeah, Mom, drills are only for practice. This was REAL. A real snake. And I am the one who saw it!" Charley provided helpfully.
Wes was barely holding it together. "*I* was swimming with my friend Evan and he said he thought he kicked a snake and since I was the only kid with goggles on I swam under the water to see if I could see it but you can only see yellow under the water. And because of Charley, I didn't get any time to play in the lake or go down the slide or see Chase or anything and the lake is the best part of camp and I missed it because of YOU!!"
Then he jammed his thumb in his mouth and laid his head on the table.
Charley expressed hope this morning that the counselors had safely relocated the snake. I am in the whack it with a shovel camp, but you know, I'm not a nine year old boy.