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Snake Wrangling

October 24, 2006

Saturday morning, our neighbor in front of our new house pulled up in the driveway, and was distraught over a snake that had gotten into her house.  It seems, her elderly mother was on the way over for a visit, and she didn’t feel comfortable entertaining with a snake slithering around the house.   She had called the Sherrif’s office, who referred her to animal control, who told her that she had to make an appointment Monday through Friday.     I inquired as to the type of snake it was, and after finding out it was a 3 or 4 foot long common black snake, I felt up to the challenge.  

I grabbed a heavy gravel rake and Leslie and I headed to her house.   The house has new hard wood floors throughout, and the snake was easily located in a hallway, stretched loosely along a wall.   I figured this was going to be fairly easy.  Plan A: I would just hook the snake between the tines of the rake and carefully turn the rake over and carry it out of the house.  The snake slipped off the rake as easily as liquid mercury and slid smoothly under the gap in the door to the bed room.   I opened the door in time to see it go under the bed.   Time for Plan B:  Mindful of the new hardwood floors, I switched over to a broom and thought I might just slide the snake out from under the bed with the broom.  After a minute or two of unsuccessful swiping and sweeping, I got down on hands and knees to better understand the situation and found the snake coiled and in a striking position.  Hmm.   

Up until this point, the non-poisonous status of the snake made me proceed in a more casual manner than I probably should have.  I  gave the snake several mins to calm down, and once it began moving again, I pursued it under a pile of clothes, then a dresser,  a night stand and eventually was able to arrest it’s progress over open terrain with the flat of the broom.  Time for Plan C:  I placed my foot just behind it’s head and was able to pick up the body with one hand and grasp just behind the head with the other.   I removed my foot and headed for the door.  Three or four steps into the trip, the head slipped through my fingers and the snake was partially free.  It’s body was still wound around my right arm and hand but it had 18 or more inches free to move and strike if it cared to.   Luckily for both of us, it extended it’s head and neck out in the direction we were headed and we progressed out of the house and onto the porch.  I was eager to release the snake, and quickly tossed into the nearby flower bed.  It seemed none the worse for wear, and I retrieved my composure and the rake, breathed a sigh of relief and headed home.   Jeff Corwin, I’m not.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Garry permalink
    October 25, 2006 8:27 pm

    Mark,
    We love this story. I would have liked to been there to see all this action. The lady better start thinking just how the snake got in her house. You know they say snakes travel in pairs!

  2. mark permalink
    October 25, 2006 8:52 pm

    Glad to have struck a chord. Stats indicate page views, but having moved the audience to comment is a positive sign. For the record, she was VERY interested in how the snake got in. I gave the house a once over, and said I had no idea. I wasn’t interested in checking out the crawl space for creepy crawly things, or how they might get in. All in all, the snake had a pretty good disposition throughout the whole affair, which I was certainly greatful for. I’ll add, that Leslie helped corner it with the broom, even though snakes are not her cup o’ tea.

  3. October 26, 2006 6:00 pm

    Mark: You are a great storyteller! I would have suffered a coronary if a snake wrapped around my arm. Congratulations on your marriage also! Great pictures. Krista

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