Today was a real farm day for me. It started out with shearing my sheep, spraying and seeding the back pasture and dealing with something I did not want to deal with. But sometimes we just have to suck it up and get 'er done. While trying to get the extension cord down for the sheep shears, I noticed what I thought was a dead snake caught in the wire and netting up above. But while pulling the cord, the snake moved. Now everyone who knows me, knows how afraid and what a phobia I have of the 's' word. Growing up in South Dakota, the prairie is riddled with rattle snakes and I have come upon them in the wild. Even here on Sugarloaf Mountain, I run into them while hiking and biking. I have never been bitten, but that doesn't prevent me from being scared to the dickens of them.
Whenever I tell people I hate snakes, and I don't care what color they are, 100% of the time they reply, "Well they keep away rats and mice." I WOULD RATHER HAVE RATS AND MICE!!! I can kill them easily with poison, grab my son's defense lacrosse stick, scoop up the dead rat, run down the driveway and expertly throw the rat across the road. I did that 16 times so I know what I'm doing! I have been known to stab a rat with a long pointy stick till dead too. True story. I know that sounds inhumane, but that rat had just moved into my brand new kitchen and it escaped the trap twice, so I had to show it the exit.
Anyway, back to the snake story. Since there was no one home but me, I called my neighbor, Joey, just home from college, to come over and assist. He's not too keen on snakes either, but I said I would go up the ladder and he was here for moral support and to catch me if I fell off the ladder or take me to the emergency room if the snake bit me. (Another neighbor got bit by a black snake and his hand got so infected, he was in the hospital for 3 days!) So I went out armed with a ladder, scissors, wire clippers and salad tongs. Believe it or not, the salad tongs were very necessary! I had really thought this through. But this wasn't my first rodeo. A long time ago another neighbor (well actually this happened twice) called me over to extract a snake from this black netting that was covering her strawberries. What is it with this netting?! It seems snakes are attracted to it. Anyway, short story is tree pruners were involved. And not for the netting.
I made many attempts cutting away at the netting, where it had gone under the scales and wrapped very tightly around the body. Oops! I got the head out without finishing up the snake/wire/netting knot and it kept lashing out with mouth open. I screamed like a girl many times, said the 'f' word a lot, apologized to Joey and held the head shut with my salad tongs while I tried to cut the netting with my left hand. I don't do well with scissors in my left hand but didn't trust that hand to hold the snakes' mouth shut. I then had to yank on the body to undo the knot and help it through the wire. The thing I hate about snakes is their slithering and it slithered A LOT. And tried to wrap around my arm. I don't know how much you've handled snakes but they are strong suckers! I tugged and tugged. When I got it nearly out, we decided we needed something to put it in and I thought of a cooler so Joey ran to get a cooler. But the snake got away because I couldn't hang on to the head any longer as it had it's whole body to work with now. So off it went under the chicken coop where I will have to keep my eyes peeled every time I go out there now. But I think Joey has more respect for this old woman who pinches snakes heads with salad tongs!