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  1. #11

    Favorite snake story

    Many moons ago, my then boyfriend (let's call him Keith) and I were in Sacramento, CA. He's into herpetology, so we went to a park to catch lizards. I wasn't thinking about rattlesnakes, so I wore shorts and Tevas. I guess I assumed we'd walk on established trails, but Keith immediately launched us cross-country over grassland. Perfect snake habitat. I started to worry, but didn't want to be the unprepared idiot who spoiled an adventure, so I kept quiet.

    We found some rocks, but not many lizards basking on them. Fortunately, we didn't run into any snakes, so I relaxed.

    On our way back to the car, Keith stepped on a discarded pop can. Normally, I retrieve such things for disposal but was tired, so I stepped on it as well. The vibrations frightened a nearby snake who, wanting nothing more than to escape, slithered across my foot by mistake. When I felt the undeniable weight and smoothness of a very heavy-bodied serpent on my foot, I did the only rational thing; I panicked. Screaming at a pitch I didn't know I could generate, I karate kicked the snake into the air and sailing.

    Keith? He went to look for the snake, leaving me alone and terrified. That was probably a wise move as I would have crawled straight up him to stand on his shoulders if he'd approached.

    Thereafter, an argument ensued about the size of the snake. I said it was a solid medium-brown and two inches in diameter. It was a BIG snake! Keith, the expert, told me that was impossible. There were no snakes in the area fitting that description. I was making a fuss over a tiny Gopher snake less than an inch in diameter. My fear was exaggerating my claim.

    Months later, I found his field guide. Turns out that there is a species called a Rubber Boa that was set loose in the Sacramento area and is now breeding. They are a solid medium-brown color, and approximately two inches in diameter.

    Keith still refuses to believe me. Very hard for a herpetologist to acknolwedge that a panicked girlfriend might be right after he'd insisted for months that she was wrong ;-) I had a very clear view of that snake as it flew through the air, however. It was a BIG snake!


  2. #12

    Re: Favorite snake story


  3. #13

    Re: Favorite snake story

    LOL! I dunno...when all was said and done, I found the entire thing incredibly funny. I can imagine what the story would look like written from the snake's point of view :-) From it's perspective, it was only trying to get out of the way when it was unceremoniously launched into the heavens by a very loud monster!

    Weird stuff always happens in my vicinity. I wish I'd had the presence of mind to hold still and watch the snake, but I was so convinced I was about to be bitten by a rattler that the panic was reflexive. You should have seen the look on my boyfriend's face when I started screaming...lol! I think he *and* the snake had nightmares that night :-) I just kept trembling and muttering, "It was a BIG snake".


  4. #14
    M T

    stinky snakes

    LoL Ames! :0D

    We have no dangerous snakes here on Vancouver Island (other than pets obviously), but I often see garter snakes in the garden. They are the *only* thing that will eat slugs. I once saw a skinny garter snake with its mouth FULL of a slug so HUGE I thought it was a mouse!! My cats often catch snakes and wander up to me or my boyfriend with the live snake writhing like a living moustache from either side of their jaw. Luckily the snakes are usually alright. I save them and carry them to a safe place in the tangled ivy where they hurry away ... *after* depositing a little stink bomb in my hands. Skunks are not the only animals that spray their enemies! I've even been sprayed by a frightened housecat.

    P.S. I'm going to get a snake to live in my aquarium after my goldfish pass on to the big pond in the sky -- hopefully not for another six or so years after they've lived out their little fishy lives.

  5. #15

    Re: stinky snakes

    LOL! Funny how wildlife rewards you for doing a good deed :-)


  6. #16
    Patricia Grant

    Re: stinky snakes

    Great stories! Oh, Ames, that poor snake! LOL! I can imagine your panic though. I'm like that with spiders. Funny, I'll handle any (non poisonous) snake in existance, but give a critter 8 legs and I become a screaming school girl!

    Interesting bit of info...two friends and I (all of us female) went to this pet store last year where they had a guest putting on a sort of petting zoo. He had several different snakes, a lizard, and an alligator. We got there early and ended up staying for the entire day. The man could see right from the start that all three of us knew how to handle snakes and enjoyed them. He unofficially made us his "assistants" for the day and we got to help other people learn how to hold and handle them. The interesting thing was that it was mostly the women and girls who would come up and hold them. (There were, of course, exceptions.) We mentioned this to the man (I'm really sorry but I have forgotten his name) and he said that was pretty typical. He said that he thinks it's because guys want to appear all "macho" and they're not sure if they can do that and handle snakes at the same time. LOL! I don't know if that's true or not, but we were getting about 4 females to every male coming up to handle them.

    And by the way...the alligator (named Nessie) was very sweet. You could tickle her behind her back legs and they would thump, like a dogs! We got to hold her in our laps and she actually cuddled! She was very affectionate with her trainer. She was only 16 years old, so still somewhat small, about 4 feet long or so, nose to tip of tail... He had an albino Burmese Python, about 8 ft long and about 4" or so in diameter, who kept curling up with the alligator! It was amazing. One of the coolest experiences of my life.

  7. #17
    Glen T. Brock

    Re: Here's another snake story

    I was the youngest in my family and, when I was about five years old, I experienced a series of incidents that would lead to unexpected consequences.

    My father owned a nightclub at that time and was seldom at home. My mother was an executive secretary at Ford Motor Company and she wasn't home much either. So caring for me fell into the hands of my sister, who was eight years older than I. She was pretty and popular, making her a target of a lot of boys in the neighborhood. This resulted in the events that followed.

    Our next door neighbor was an impish young man who was prone to practical jokes, vandalism, and burglary (most as a direct result of the first). He had chopped down a huge pine tree as my sister was mowing the lawn, missing her by inches. He had convinced me that our septic tank contained hidden Nazi treasure, mine for the taking if I dug it up. In retrospect, I am astounded he wasn't murdered by some of his victims before he reached puberty. On this particular summer day he was obsessed with the idea of pulling a huge joke on my sister.

    Quietly, he entered the house and made his way stealthily to the main bathroom. Careful not to make a sound, he opened the door and lifted the cover of the toilet, depositing a large 'black racer' snake into the toilet bowl. Before the animal could escape he closed the lid, trapping it in the darkness. His mission completed, he retreated to his own house to wait for the inevitable results.

    It was the custom in those days to hire domestic help, if affordable, in working families. We had a maid. She was solidly built (not unlike a football player)and fond of wearing 'granny dresses.' As my sister and I sat at the table, eating breakfast, she announced she had to retire to the 'ladies' room. We watched her march down the short hall from the kitchen to the bathroom, blissfull in our ignorance as we picked over our grits.

    There was silence for the first few seconds, then the world seemed to come to an end. An anguished shrill scream came from the bathroom, followed by an explosion of splintered wood from the bathroom door as it was ripped off its hinges. The maid seemed to float in mid air amongst the flying debris until gravity interceded, depositing her bulky mass on the hall floor.

    "There's a snake in the toilet!" She screamed repeatedly. She seemed to be on the verge of going berserk.

    My sister immediatly took control of the situation. "Don't touch anything! I'm going to get Midget!"

    Midget was our other next door neighbor. He was nicknamed Midget because he was almost a giant. Having played high school football, he had proved that he had more heart than head. Complex ideas confused him. His solution was to destroy anything that left him confused.

    My sister, running next door, found Midget and explained the nature of our emergency. Midget understood immediatly. He agreed to help, grabbing his father's shotgun and following my hysterical sister back to our house.

    Back inside the house, my sister led Midget to the bathroom. The lid was still down.

    "Is that where the snake is?" Midget asked. My sister nodded fearfully.

    "Stand back!" He ordered, gently lifting the lid with the barrel of the shotgun. Perhaps it was the bright light, or the strange shape of the shotgun facing it, but the snake did not move. It stared up from the toilet bowl, its tongue flickering in curiousity. It would never be curious again. Midget fired both barrels into the toilet. The snake was dead. So was the toilet.

    During a crisis like that the adrenaline starts surging into the blood and rationality retreats. Once resolved, however, the reality sets in and consequences must be considered. My father was due home in just a few minutes. He was noted for his lack of patience in matters such as these. His reputation for a violent temper preceded him. I was quick to deny culpability, being that I was five years old. My sister, however, was eight years older than I and suffered the pangs of dread for the consequences of what had happened.

    Fortunatly, for everybody concerned (except the snake), my father was in an unusually cheerful mood that morning. He surveyed the damage without comment, just shaking his head as he retreated to his bed room to get some rest. Having rescued his five year old son from the septic tank the week before, why should the destruction of his bathroom upset him?

    Glen T. Brock

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