When I was a child, I used to spend my summers with my maternal grandparents in North Carolina. They lived 40 minutes outside of Raleigh-Durham, in a rural area on four acres of land. If there’s one thing I know about southern heat, it breeds all kinds of creatures that aren’t frequently seen, let alone thought about here in the North.
Without much to do, I often spent my days just wandering around outside the house chasing flies and poking at frogs and lizards. There was always a line of white stuff along the base of the house that I later found out was lime powder, something that was suppose to keep pests out of the house, more specifically, snakes, yet it was later discovered that it was also the reason why my grandmother lost her sense of smell. Apparently this power wasn’t too effective because every now and then I would hear a shrilling scream rip through the house and find my grandmother bolting for her shotgun. Her sudden fit of terror was always due to there being a snake on the back porch. Unfortunately I never actually got to see one, my grandmother was adamant about keeping me back yet somehow this slithering creature ended up being the thing that made me timid about being outside. It’s interesting how in the absence of your own experiences, another person’s fears can end up being your own.