Catch and Release

“Fear doesn’t shut you down; it wakes you up.” ~ Veronica Roth

We got an ’emergency’ call yesterday. It was a friend with a wayward snake in her chicken coop; he’d found the eggs. Like most people, she wanted the snake gone, felt it would come back for more, and — she feared — might grow large enough to eat her yard chickens. Would I be interested in coming to get it?

I am known by my friends as ‘Dirt Girl’ or ‘Bug Chick’ but now I can add ‘Snake Lady’ to my resume. We loaded up the kids and drove straight over to hopefully catch then free the serpent on our property.

When we got there, the standard ‘tools’ were suspiciously leaning against the tree. No need as we prefer the smaller yet more convenient alternative to a hoe or shovel, the only one required in handling a live snake: a brain. Patience and persistence paid off as Scott gently remove him from the coop. He was only hungry, after all, and probably frightened by the action brought upon him. Yet he bit no one.

I don’t care what others say; for me, the only good snake is a live snake. Plus, it’s way easier to catch a serpent live than to clean up the mess of a dead one — and dead ones don’t eat squirrels and mice. We dropped him into a pillow case, and tied it at the top, so as to keep him from escaping inside the car while driving. (Now that would be crazy.)

Once home, everyone lined up for a chance to hold a 4-foot rat snake. It’s not every day we get to see Nature’s rodent-eating machines in the flesh, and he was accommodating enough to be passed four times.

After the ordeal, he slithered off in the brush pile, no worse for wear. The kids left him the egg he was so intent upon eating earlier, you know, in case he got a case of midnight munchies. This time, he might actually be able to eat it in peace.

7 thoughts on “Catch and Release

  1. Like you, I believe in letting snakes live. They are really no different than any other animal except maybe a little scarier and most of that is perception. Great pictures.

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    1. Thank you for your comment, Fallcorn1936. I wish I knew why people were so scared of them, particularly the non-venomous ones who are not harmful at all.

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  2. Incredible post Shannon! Snakes are awesome creatures and make life so balanced with the rodent control they provide. They get a bad wrap, mostly because people are afraid of them. So I really appreciate your attitude, the quote, the photo, and the spirit here.

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