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Thursday, July 24, 2014

I don't like spiders and snakes. . .

If you're old enough to remember the 70's, you might remember this song by country musician Jim Stafford (I had such a crush on him!):
"I don't like spiders and snakes,
and that ain't what it takes to love me. . ."

Image from here

That song has been playing over and over in my head since a few nights ago when my husband encountered a very unwelcome visitor in our carport just past midnight.

Hubby was arriving home from his night shift at the zoo, and when he drove his motorcycle over the ramp which he built over the curb of our carport, a copperhead snake, one of the four venomous snakes of Texas, slithered up the ramp to greet him.

Image from here

I get this call from my comfy spot in my oversize chair where I was 'net surfing.
It's him calling my cell phone from his cell phone from outside the house!  My first thought was:  Oh no!  He's fallen!

"I need you to come out here.  I have a copperhead cornered with a shovel and I can't move or it will get away."

Me in my pajamas.  I had no choice but to go.  He literally could not move or the snake would get away.  The shovel he had grabbed was too large to actually kill the snake because of its position in a corner against the ramp.

"Get my hunting knife out of the truck," hubby instructs.

Me in my flip flops, and I have to walk across the very ramp where the snake is to get to the driver side door of the pickup!  I manage to hop across without getting bit and find the honkin' knife he's talking about and hand it to him.  He begins to hack at the snake who is not very happy at this point.

Image from here

For a copperhead, he's pretty big, but still he has a tiny mouth.  It's hard to imagine how much damage those little fangs with their nasty venom can inflict.

Thinking he has mortally wounded the mean fellow, hubby lifts the shovel, only to see the little devil slither behind the ramp!

"Oh no!  We've lost him!" I cry, remembering our dog Whitey being bit in the hind leg only a couple of weeks ago, requiring a late night trip to the pet ER.  This may even be the snake that got him!

At the ER


You can see the swelling of his left leg.

The swelling is very evident in this photo.
 The steroid shot they gave him worked very fast to reduce the swelling and pain!

But Jimmy won't be deterred.  He stalks over--in the dark where who knows how many more snakes lurk--to my parents' tool shed next door and returns with a smaller shovel which he uses to pry the ramp away from the curb.
Sure enough, there's the little guy hiding, probably not feeling very well since his body has been slashed a few times.
To make matters even more creepy, a huge scorpion also appears, crawling upwards towards Jimmy!

Image from here

So creepy!

"There's a scorpion!" I holler, knowing how much he hates scorpions.  Hastily he squashes it and proceeds to separate the snake's head from his body, while Snake bares his fangs in a last ditch effort to frighten us away.
I'm certain I'm going to have nightmares.



Finally Snake's involuntary biting and undulating cease.  (Did you know that snakes can continue to bite while their heads are separated from their bodies?)  He is dead.
We are mortified.
We try not to wonder how many of his children, parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins lurk nearby, waiting for an innocent dog, cat, or person to come too close.

Be careful out there, folks.  The ER veterinarian said she had treated several pet snakebites lately and they usually occur at dusk when snakes come out to hunt for food.

As for me, I won't be traipsing around my yard in flip flops any more or digging deep into my flower beds.  Those weeds can just take over, for all I care!

Do you have a snake story?
Please tell me about it!

Be careful out there!

XOXO