“Snakes Alive!”

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Moonville, Piedmont, Fork Shoals, Nature

July 1, 2023 by Anne Peden - Views: 56

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“Snakes Alive!”

Moonville Mae says, I’m sure many of you have dealt with a few snakes over the years no matter where you live in the upstate.  Living in the country as I do, I have been visited by someone or another every summer, so I want to share a few of the best encounters for your enjoyment.

Once upon a time as I drove out of my garage, I mashed the button to close the door as usual.  I looked back to make sure the door was closing, and I noticed something black hanging out of the side of the door.  That’s strange.  Could it be weather stripping?  No, it was moving.  I stopped the car to get a better look, and sure enough it was moving.  It was a snake, a black snake, and its tail was caught in the door.  It was hanging there wriggling – trying to get loose.  I couldn’t leave it there, so I called my family right quick to say I would be a little late picking them up.  How could I get him without letting him get lost in the garage?  I own a contraption that helps reach things in cabinets, caught the snake up in it, raised the door, and carried him toward the field.  Before I got him where I wanted him, he started up the reacher, which became easy to dispose of.  When the snake found himself on the ground, he was no longer interested in climbing the reacher, and he disappeared under some mulch.  Of course, by that time all the cousins were driving up to help – a bit late, I’m afraid. 

That reminds me of Virginia’s snake story.  Virginia was my great-grandmother Siamese cat, and she was a bit, quite a bit, blind.  One day my husband and I were in the field, and Virginia followed us.  A metal container we had used to water cows was nearby, and it was turned upside down.  We knew that a black snake lived under it, but hadn’t thought about it until we looked around, and there stood Virginia on the back of the snake.  She didn’t know – couldn’t see it.  The snake didn’t seem too alarmed.  He just slowly raised his head and turned to see what was on his back.  Then Virginia walked on off, and the snake slithered back into his shelter.

Another time I was down by an outbuilding where we kept dog food, tools, and such.  I kept hearing this faint noise.  Looking around didn’t bring an answer to the noise maker.  When the noise persisted, I opened the gate into the building, and there were the noisemakers.  This faint noise issued from a life and death struggle going on in my presence.  The fighters were rolling and thrashing around on the floor with all their might.  The tiniest snake was wrapped around the littlest mouse.  I didn’t know that we had constrictors in our area, but that little guy was going at the constriction with all his might.  He might have been 3 inches long, but he won that fight.

The best snake story is my husband, Raymond’s, though.  It all happened one afternoon when he and I were mowing the field across the road.  We had two lawn tractors we were cutting with – him going for the first lap with me following.  We could cut the two acres in about an hour and a half that way.  We would go around in a big triangle following the edge of the property.  With each lap of course the triangles got smaller, and we didn’t know we were encircling a snake until we were almost finished.  I was the first to see it, and at this point the triangles had gotten so small that Raymond was lapping me and coming up from behind.  When I saw the snake, which happened to be at least a five-footer, I pointed at it, so Raymond would see it and not run over it.  Well, Raymond thought I wanted him to cut that spot and headed right for the poor snake. 

Did you know that snakes can jump?  Well, I saw it with my own eyes.  Here came Raymond right for that snake, and when he got beside it, the thing leaped straight up and into Raymond’s lap.  What do you do when a snake jumps into your lap?  You bail, of course, which is exactly what my double amputee of a husband did.  He rolled backwards right off that old machine which didn’t know what to do without guidance.  It took off across the field willy-nilly with me after it on the John Deere.  How do you stop a runaway Cub Cadet?  I don’t know.  But God knew.  He put a tree in the field twenty years earlier just for that very purpose.  The mower set there with the tires spinning till I turned the key.  When I looked back, Raymond was lying on the ground unhurt, and the snake had disappeared.  I would have too.

Just remember, as the summer of mowing goes along, watch what, not just where you’re cutting.

Moonville Mae

Anne Peden, Phd.
Greenville County Historic Preservation Commission
Fork Shoals Historical Society
Piedmont Historical Preservation Society


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