Gabe Saved My Life!

2798 2798_ () 2798 2798 We took a family hike on Sunday at a local nature reserve, our favorite little hiking hotspot not too far from our home.

This week, we went with my mom and dad and my brother Gabe and his family.

This story might take some explaining, a little back information to set the stage. Here are a few things you should know:

1. My brother Gabe is very smart and handsome and funny. He is getting his doctorate in some micro-science something or other. And he’s the second guy from the left.

2. We often joke as a family about Gabe being mom’s favorite.

3. On Sunday, Gabe saved my mom from being bitten by the second-largest cottonmouth snake my dad has ever seen.

4. My dad is a herpetologist. He’s seen a lot of snakes.

5. Gabe saved my mom from being bit by a huge poisonous snake and we will never hear the end of it.

On that walk this Sunday, the group of fourteen of us were walking the trail. Gabe and my mom were having a deep conversation (as favorite children so often do with parents) and suddenly I heard Gabe yell loud, “Mom, watch out!” I turned to see Gabe throwing my mom behind him. Then my mom yelling for my dad and telling us all to GET AWAY, RUN AWAY. So of course, we all started running toward the scene of the action.

“Daddy,” my mom hollered to my dad. He was hiking ahead and was carrying the snake stick. Then Gabe called my dad and again my mom told us all to get away and we all, as a group and to a man, ran toward the snake to get a better look.

The snake was huge. Like tree-trunk big. And what my mom and Gabe saw, what the other twelve of us had marched right past, was a large cottonmouth perched just off the path of our hiking trail, waiting to strike.

But the snake never did strike — that was my first thought. An entire group of us marched past this thing and it never moved. Of course, I had that thought before seeing this ginormous reptile. What my mom and Gabe saw, as he threw her behind him, was a large snake waiting to eat whatever was in its path.

Anyway, my mom was very grateful to Gabe. “Gabe saved my life,” she said clutching her chest and through tears, just after this all happened. She was standing off to the side as my dad told us about the snake. Gabe saved her life.

It’s true, but we haven’t stopped giving her a hard time about this. Gabe, the favorite son, sealing the deal with his life-saving techniques.

Tonight at my folks house, we were laughing about all this. My brother Zach and his bride Amy were there and we were regaling them with tales of the hike and the snake, of my mom and her near-death experience.

Zach decided to re-enact the precarious moment when the snake very nearly killed my mom. I bet fifty years from now the story will surely have grown to “the time a snake was climbing down Gramma’s throat and Gabe forcibly removed it from her being.” Tonight we played the part of the terrified crowd. My mom played the part of the unamused (but life-saved) hiker who now owes her favorite son Gabe a big thank you.

Thank you Gabe. You saved mom’s life.

p.s. The name of the ice-cream we are eating is “Death By Chocolate (lite).” But I think we should call it “Almost Death…but Gabe Saved My Life.”

In other news, Snake! Save me Gabe!
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  1. I had no idea your dad is a herpetologist! If I ever stop attending school, that’s what I want to be when I grow up. Good for your brother for having good reflexes and a fast reaction time! Cottonmouths are no joke. And I love the fact that your whole family takes hikes together.

  2. I thought I was Mom’s favorite?
    I am hurt.
    Oh, well! I am glad you are all alive and weren’t engulfed by the hungry cotton-mouth!
    Can’t wait to see you all!

  3. Can I marry Gabe?

  4. At least you know you’re second-fav, right?! Love the accompanying photo. Good times!

  5. Laurie Heim says:

    I love the look on Aunt Karen’s face in that picture above! She looks so enthused to be reinacting the moment! 🙂

  6. You have one of THOSE brothers, too? In our family, it’s my youngest brother. He has taken his own legend to such great lengths that for the last 2 years, he has had “Happy Birthday George, our favorite son!” written on his birthday cake. As he places it on the table for “singing time”, he smiles and says, “Mom and Dad, thank you SO much for the cake!”, while our parents laugh at his cleverness and the rest of us groan….. LOL

  7. I love your family’s sense of humor!!

  8. OH! Cotton mouths are scary! I love the look on your face in the picture! LOL!

  9. That is hysterical! My family always teases my mom that my older brother is her favorite as well. Of course, mom doesn’t find it amusing at all. The picture itself is worth a thousand words. Thank you for making me smile this morning!

  10. This whole post and the comments are cracking me up!!!

    I can’t wait to have a son. I hope he saves me from something someday.

  11. First, I am terrified of snakes, so thank you for no real life snake pics. And I laughed out loud reading this. Getting togeher with family and telling stories about each other makes for a fun night and so much fun even hearing others funny stories.

  12. How funny! I too have a brother who is my parents favorite. We refer to him as The Golden Child. He was the star of the high school basketball teams and went on to play college ball at BYU. My parents thrived on that. Anything that boy wanted, he got. Of coarse we all tease my parents about The Golden Child and we always attempt ways to threaten his status but really it’s just all fun and games.

    Thank heavens for Gabe! What a hero!