We think maybe it was a black rat snake. It was some kind of king snake, anyway. He was fairly big, and took up residence in our grill between when we put our Missouri house on the market and when we sold it. I'm kind of glad he came back after the two times we thought we were rid of him, because I think he kept down the gopher population. Gopher holes had been popping up in our yard, and getting rid of them is not easy. Those dirt mounds make for an unsightly showing when a potential buyer comes over. And no, they were not moles. They were much bigger. I have video. They were gophers.
Once, after I already had moved to Plano temporarily to my new job location, my wife had to have a neighbor (one of our company's pilots) come down and put the snake over the fence using a stick. The snake was back the next day, coiled up and staring out at my wife when she lifted the grill lid.
The other time we thought we had seen the last of him, I put some moth balls in the grill, because I had heard from a customer lady at Lowe's that they were the best snake retardant. That's when I first noticed he was not in the grill when I was back home for a weekend. Instead, he was on the grill leg, and that's where this image comes in. As I stood just outside our deck door snapping shots of him, he finally slithered slowly into the green watering can on the right. Shannon said she had moved that thing one day and thought it was awfully heavy to be empty. I guess so. Ugh.
I don't adhere quite as closely to my dad's philosophy as others do: the only good snake is a dead snake. However, had someone been there who was willing to kill him, I can't say I would have tried to stop them.