Lessons Learned from a Snake

I do not hate snakes. That being said, I’d just as soon not encounter a venomous one in close proximity to my home, as I did one day last week.

The night following the encounter that cottonmouth occupied my dreams every time I closed my eyes to sleep. In my waking hours I mentally retraced the steps I took prior to noticing his presence next to the garage and realized I’d likely come within inches of stepping on him. It was a sobering thought.

I’ve changed some of my habits after my snake experience, and I thought the lessons learned might be worth sharing. If nothing else, they’ll help me solidify what I gained from the experience.

  1. Don’t walk and read simultaneously. The mail can wait to be sorted once you’re in the house. What a sad tale it might’ve been if I’d stepped on a viper while perusing a Talbots mailer.
  2. Not all bad guys give a warning. If my snake friend had been a rattlesnake, chances are I’d have been warned off from the start. This guy lay silently, coiled and waiting for some clueless broad walking and reading a Talbots catalog to blunder into its sharp fangs.
  3. Scan your surroundings. There’s a mnemonic acronym motorcyclists use to help avoid accidents–SIPDE. That stands for Scan (keep your eyes moving), Identify (note possible hazards), Predict (make an educated guess as to what the hazard might do), Decide (plan a course of action), and Execute (make it happen).
  4. Please note that we Executed the snake. That’ll teach him.
  5. Don’t trust your eyes, but scan anyway. He was camouflaged fairly well in his driveway matching color coordinated way. Look twice, then look again.
  6. Always carry a bazooka. (Note to self: buy a bazooka.)
  7. Don’t assume a snake is asleep just because it doesn’t respond to outside stimuli. It’s probably playing possum in hopes that you’ll be lulled into complacency. Or that you’re admiring a skirt in a fashion catalog.

I’m sure there are other lessons to be gained from my interaction with the snake, but thinking about it too much gives me the heebie jeebies.

Peace, people.

(I found the photo directly above on twitter in order to show off the cottonmouth’s cotton mouth.)

Author: nananoyz

I'm a semi-retired crazy person with one husband and two cats.

23 thoughts on “Lessons Learned from a Snake”

      1. I think at moments of shock, moments where you have to act, that happens though. I have this awful terror of the underside of trains…old trains and one day when my younger girl was 5, she slipped my hand getting off one of these fancy old ones that you can do as a kind of tourist thing and she disappeared under the sodding thing. You know what, I never stopped to think. I ran up that platform screaming at my Mr to tell the guard to hold the train, as he ran about shouting to people to save her, I leapt down onto the track and crawled all the way under it. I nearly sodding skinned her when I got her too. I actually said, ‘The next time I tell you to hold my hand, you sodding hold it.’ And she’s howling, ‘Yes M-m-m-m-mummy.’ When I crawled back with her, covered in soot, oil, cinders, my tights ripped, my hands bleeding, the lot, people were lying on the platform in a state of shock. This fearfully posh business man in a suit stepped forward and said, ‘Madam, give me that child.’ Then ‘Madam, give me your hand.’ I tell you I was more concerned about getting oil on his suit. He was shaking from head to toe. Looking back now, I think… did I do that? But see at the time. I couldn’t accept anything that I was seeing. It was like becoming someone else. I wasn’t me.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Nah. It wasn’t bravery. It was what we all do without knowing in these moments. It is like you say, the brain does not accept what the eye is seeing, or indeed what we then do. be that snakes, trains whatever. But the thing is ….we deal with what the eye is seeing x xx

        Liked by 1 person

      3. My mom dove, fully clothed, into a pool to retrieve my 2-year-old brother who was drowning. I was 8 or so and froze in place. Moms just go into action.


      1. The teefs though and three feet here is ginormous. I think Michigan snakes run away at first sight of us except the Massasauga and if I see one of those *I* am the one running away.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Wow, what a fine specimen. Do you have a snake catcher services in your area? They could remove and relocate the beast.
    Your seven commandments are very wise. Normally, snakes slither away when sensing humans, but this one didn’t…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Water moccasins are notoriously aggressive. I was so lucky that he didn’t come straight for me. And David is so scared of them that he wouldn’t even consider letting him go. I lobbied for getting someone to remove him.

      Liked by 1 person

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