One of the first apartments we had was very spacious, except for the kitchen. They allowed hardly any space for the refrigerator, so the door couldn’t really be opened wide enough to use the vegetable drawer nearest the door. When we first moved in, I tried to use it, but gave up, and for the rest of our time there, it was unopened.

When we were moving, I went through the apartment, cleaning up. Since I sincerely hated doing the fridge, I put it off until last. After packing all the edible food, I threw away the dead and nearly dead, terminated the primordial life, and cleaned the shelves, then cleaned out the one vegetable drawer we used.

Remembering the drain on the bottom under the drawers, I pulled out the accessible drawer to wash under it. When it was out, I noticed the shape of something through the smoky plastic side of the unused drawer. Well, crud! It was supposed to be empty! Jostling and pulling the fridge I inched it into a position suitable for opening the drawer that had been unused for well over six months. Then, expecting yucky slime and a bad odor, I pulled open the drawer.

Out jumped a long, white… something! EEEK! EEEK! It looked like a snake with numerous wings! It must’ve been two feet long! EEEK! EEEK! I jumped back, slamming into the pantry door! My heart stopped beating! It almost got me! It threatened me still! EEEK! EEEK! It sat there menacing and sproinged, bobbing slowly. EEEK! EEEK! … OH!

Suddenly it dawned on me what it was, I must’ve put a head of cabbage in there when we first moved in. Instead of turning to mush, it had been working very hard to stay alive, and it had succeeded! It had stalked out, curling like a spring in the drawer as it grew, and grew, trying to find the light, separating its leaf nodes wider and wider, as it turned from pale green to solid white in the cool darkness … waiting … for ME!

I laughed until I was sick, then started to take it out … but, NO! This was too good to ruin. I carefully curled the monstrous winged white snake back into the drawer, moved the refrigerator back into its old position, and waited for Stan to come home.

After he’d put down his work stuff, I nonchalantly asked my helpful husband to move the icebox out, and open the bottom drawer for me. “Sure,” he said, and he busied to the task as I waited, giggling under my breath. “You sure are happy today,” Stan observed … scrape … rattle … door opened… he paused, “What’s so funny?” … drawer opened … “AAAGGHHHH!” … sound of a body slamming against the pantry door … “What is it?!”

I rolled on the floor, laughing so hard it hurt! He peeked around the corner from where he was sitting on the floor, leaning up against the pantry, a wry smile on his face, and asked in an accusing tone, “You did this, didn’t you?”

Gasping for air, I assured him, “No, God did it, I just discovered it first.”

He laughed in obvious relief, he had a deep and abiding fear of snakes, “I thought it got me! I almost had a heart attack! What is it?!”

Taking a deep breath, but still grinning so broadly it hurt, I composed myself enough to inform him, “It’s a cabbage, I think. Don’t take it out, I’ve got plans for it.”

“Take it out? I wouldn’t touch it! … Plans?” A malevolent smile creeping across his face, he wondered, “Who’re you going to get with it?”

“Well,” I posed, “you know the cleaning ladies who’ll come around to clean behind us when we leave? I thought, maybe …”

He broke into hearty laughter as he pictured the light-hearted Hispanic ladies who cleaned that apartment complex having a similar reaction to his, “Do it! Just wish we could be here to watch when they open that drawer.”

With that, I curled the monster carefully back down into its cold, dark lair and closed the drawer.