It’s more afraid of you than you are of it.
I’m sure you’ve heard that old saying, but I’m here to tell you that it's untrue, a fantasy. If it were a tale, it would start out with “once upon a time” and end with “they lived happily ever after” like all other bedtime fables.
Parents always tell their children about all sorts of creatures – bees, dogs, mice, bears, SNAKES, etc., and say that “they’re more afraid of you than you are of them.”
Since there is no way to quantify human fear, you can imagine the difficulty with other species. An actual comparison is unrealistic.
I can tell you this, if you believe a snake is more afraid of me than I am of it, you know less about me than you know about snakes. However, I can overcome my fear given the right circumstances. That condition arose Sunday.
I have a big yard. During the summer, I spend quite a bit of time mowing, chopping back overgrowth, and trimming trees. The work seems never ending. As I’m writing this, I’m thinking about what yardwork I have to do this weekend. Then, I decide how best to divide the effort into two days – Saturday and Sunday mornings, before the heat gets to me at about noon.
Last weekend, I accomplished Saturday’s to-do list without complication. On Sunday, I had determined to remove a pile of wood debris that had been sitting by my house for a while.
I’m going to be honest here, the pile was there much longer than I had intended but those things seem to slip down on the list when other things seem more important. I know the danger of leaving a pile of debris sitting for any length of time, but I did it anyway.
On with my story. I’m smart enough to know that I should not reach out with my hands and start moving away the pieces. I used my rake to pull the pieces away. I pulled one large piece away and under it was a large snake. I would estimate 4.5 to 5 feet long. It looked at me and I looked at it. I was 99.9 percent sure it was nonvenomous. I stopped to take a picture of it with my cellphone.
I decided to relocate it away from my house. That .1 percent concerned me as the scene straight from a TV show about snakes began. She was not happy – that statement goes for me and the snake – during the capture and release.
I used my rake and a large plastic bucket. Once the snake was tired of messing with me, it went to leave. I had to reach down, grab it by the tail and pull it back. I finally accomplished getting the snake in the bucket. It took me 10-15 minutes to stop shaking from the encounter. I cannot give an update from the snake's perspective.
They lived happily ever after.
Standard reporter Lisa Hobbs can be reached at 473-2191.