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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Snakes

Reading one of my favorite blogs today, I was reminded of a cowboy friend who related his snake escapade to us.

Like lots of cowboys, he and his wife lived in an old trailer on the ranch. He knew there were snakes in it when he saw one while watching TV one evening. It popped it's head out the heat register in the floor and looked both directions before disapearing back into the vent. His wife happened to be in the kitchen and he thought it best not to mention it, since she was deathly afraid of even the smallest most harmless snake.

A little while later she came through the living room and announced she was going to have her shower. When he heard the scream, he knew she knew. Apparently, the little Gartner snake had found it's way from the heat vent into the floor drain of the very shower stall his wife was in and had poked it's head up through the grate as she bent down to pick up the soap she had dropped. And that reminds me of my ants in the pants story since it both involved naked, running, screaming cowboy's wives but I'll save that for a different day.

We used to live in quite a rattlesnake infested area. Winters are cold and long here and I guess they all need to den up. My cowboy said he was riding out one day and could smell something really bad and just as he came over a little rise he saw the writhing mass in a small hollow; he said at least a hundred of them, different sizes and kinds, rattlers and bull snakes, all jammed up together. Totally grossed him out, an Indianna Jones moment.

My cowboy's grandma hated snakes and would chop them into tiny pieces with a shovel until one came right up the handle at her. I remember riding my horse right over a tiny little rattler, all coiled up and swinging around as all those legs passed over him. And one day in October a big rattler that looked like a stiff board bobbing up and down. Once in an old abandoned barn my cowboy saw a Tom Cat kill a big rattler by timing the strike and jumping over it till he caught it by the back of the head. Obviously, something he had done before. Oh, the snake stories I could tell; pitching snakes along with hay, jamming syringe covers in horses nostrils before they swelled shut from a hit, bulls with football-sized knees. . .  and so on and so on.

But now, here in Alberta, rattle snakes are endangered and there are signs by the road that say we should be watching out so we don't run over them. I personally don't mind them too much except when the surprise me. They are so much the color of dirt, it's a good thing they buzz.

4 comments:

The Wife said...

Well, I won't be having the husband read this post. He wouldn't sleep for weeks! He said he saw the snake today. He was unloading feed off the truck, looked out the barn and saw it slithering from the yard to the pasture. He ran and got the shovel but by the time he got back out, he couldn't find it!

Crystal said...

ewww! That reminds me of the time my truck broke down on the way to the farrier, and I had to walk the last mile or so in my crocs. I was walking on the road, mindin my business when I heard the telltale rattle. I jumped, but I think I scared him more than he scared me cause he slithered into the grass and away. Good thing too, crocs aren't the best snake stepping on shoes out there.

prairierunner said...

I'm not fond of snakes either but I'm getting used to them after 30+ years here. I still scream like a girl if one startles me though.

Shirley said...

Yeah. Snakes. They gimme the creeps. My brothers used to throw garter snakes at us girls just to hear us scream.