She recoils at thought of rattler

By Lynn Moncus

Often while trying to think of a subject for this column, I discuss it with friends and hope for many good suggestions.

This time, I asked my friend, Jo Priddy, for a little help, but she said she couldn’t think of anything I hadn’t already written about (probably numerous times).

She didn’t let me down, however, because she called to awaken me from my afternoon nap and to say she had just had a very large rattlesnake dispatched in her back yard.

Well, that most definitely got my attention and caused me to have an instant nervous breakdown. She said she saw the “critter” and promptly called the animal officer to come to the rescue. Because she didn’t want to lose sight of the snake, she went into the backyard to watch him, at which point, he coiled and began to rattle. That was enough to send me into another major fit as I listened to her description. She reported that within minutes, the animal officer arrived and took care of the situation.

He then counted eleven rattles and a button, letting her know that was one big snake she had slithering around in her back yard. The more she talked, the more upset I became because as most of you have learned, I don’t deal well with rattlesnakes and tend to get upset just talking about them.

Those of us who grew up on the land tend to be excitable any time we see snakes or even when we are recounting stories about them. We have seen the results of their bites and have spent our lives watching for them, whether or not we are in town. Actually, we may become a little too relaxed in town until someone such as Jo calls to tell us what can happen.

Most of us tend to jump when we hear or see lizards running through the leaves even though we rather like those creatures, but until we recognize them, they are snakes to us.

We have heard reports of quite a few rattlesnakes in town this year and wonder if anyone has bothered to tell the elementary school children to watch where they are going. Not only could snakes be in their outdoor classroom, but they could also just as easily be on the playgrounds because much of that area is rather rural.

Of course, someone will think to warn them after the first child has been bitten, but they might be just a little safer if they had a chance to listen to the animal officer and to learn what he does to help keep our town safe.

The next time I ask Jo to help with this column, I hope she doesn’t take me so seriously and will suggest a subject that doesn’t cause me to have all sorts of breakdowns. Those of you who haven’t lived on the land may have a little trouble understanding the strange ways of those of us who got our start there.

We have a few habits that have been ingrained since childhood, and we aren’t apt to make any changes. I’ll just leave you with the warning with which we grew up, “Watch out for snakes!”