On snakes

Since a young age, I was taught about snakes.  To respect them, not fear them, and so far I’ve done pretty well.  Until recently, I repeated what I’d always been told but didn’t have Google to search and I told people there had never been a death from a Copperhead bite.  After a guy died near here recently, I searched and found there were 2 previous recorded deaths…now three.  I was separated from Fran and had Chris and Jenni for the weekend.  I owned a 3 ft boa constrictor at the time and fed them live mice.  Not wanting to scare the kids, Chris was about 4-5 and Jenni 2-3, I waited till they were in bed to feed the snake.  I had learned not long before to not hold the mouse by the tail in my hand as they were’nt real accurate in their strike and I got nailed.  So, I was holding the mouse with cooking tongs and sitting there waiting for the snake to take it when Chris came out of his bedroom.  He stood there and watched for a few minutes before asking “What are you doing”.  I told him I was feeding the snake.  He watched for a minute or so longer and then asked, “Why don’t you feed it snake food”.  He was such a sensitive kid.  Still is.

Well…I think I’ve mentioned snakes but a surprise by a snake is a special thing.  For those who are afraid of them, the shock of just simply seeing one is a surprise (and to me, special).  And I’ve had my share of surprises.   Have I mentioned sitting on the ground in the rear of the 20-30 kids at bible camp at Clear Creek Park in Penna.  I was maybe 11.  The camp is based by a freezing cold pond supplied by the creek but surrounded by woods.  I was sitting there when a movement caught my eye.  There on the ground not 15 ft from me were two rattlesnakes intertwined in what I was much later to learn the mating match.  I was surprised…a bit shocked and, knowing they were rattlesnakes, the hair went up on the back of my neck.  I watched the match until they broke up somehow deciding the victor, and they went on their way…away from the unsuspecting audience.  Had I made a noise, surely they would both have been killed.

So, I recently had another nice surprise meeting with a snake.  My son had built me a chicken coop last year and I had not been able to get into the coop due to a swollen door.  When I opened it there was several months of chicken eggs in two nests.  I was to discover 40 in one nest and 32 in the other.  I had filled the bucket with the 40 eggs but my back gave out and I had to quit.  3 days later, I went out, moved the bucket and in one motion leaned my right arm on the floor of the coop while at the same time reached in with my left arm…and stooped down to actually see the nest, when I discovered this following photo.  What went thru my mind all in one instant was “SNAKE…?Poisonous?…no…FUNNY”!!

Black snake on pile of eggs

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