It has been unseasonably cool, lately. I heard that we haven’t reached 100 degrees this month. That’s a very unusual August for Oklahoma. I like it! Unfortunately, so do the snakes. When the temperature is high, they come out at night when it’s cooler. In weather like this, they could be out any time.
The boys and I were leaving the house this morning after 10:00. My youngest yelled, “Snake!” just as he stepped off the porch. I ran to look. Sure enough, a black and brown snake raced from in front of him to side of the house. It slithered along the concrete foundation and behind a rose bush. Our Rottweiler, Katie, sniffed after it.
“Stay away from it!” I yelled to my youngest as I ran inside to get my gun.
My oldest followed me inside to grab his new weapon. He bought his first BB gun for his birthday.
“Don’t let it in the house!” I yelled.
Gun in hand, I ran back out the wide-open front door. You’d think my boys would listen better to a mother who sometimes carries a gun and machete. But no. He left the front door open, inviting the snake to enter. It’s cool inside, creep. Come on in!
Katie was still sniffing around the same area, so I thought the snake was hiding in the iris leaves that Katie had flattened for a bed. It looked like a good place for a snake to crawl under and hide.
“Cover your ears, boys.”
The shotgun shell peppered a 2 1/2 inch pattern in the underbrush. I dug through the leaves with a stick. Nothing. My oldest kept shooting the area with BBs, just in case.
The youngest had no idea where it was. I figured he would have been watching it for me. Nope. But I trusted Katie more than him. (She minds a lot better.) She had still been sniffing around the spot where I shot. Right above that spot is a vent. There’s an inch gap where the snake could have slithered through. Maybe it crawled under the house?
“Let’s go under the house looking for it,” my oldest said.
“Not a chance.” I’m not that brave, so I kept looking in the relative safely of the open air.
A few feet farther where the foundation met the porch, there is another hole. This one is a good 2-3 inches and barely covered up with rocks. Another way for it to get under the house. Near that is a ramp to the porch. Maybe it was hiding under there?
I jabbed a stick under the ramp to see if anything would bolt out at me. Nothing.
Maybe it IS in the house!
The boys and I searched the internet trying to identify the snake. We could tell immediately that it wasn’t a copperhead. It was black with brown spots. I didn’t stick around long enough to look at its head and eyes, so I can’t positively ID it. We’ve narrowed it down to a black ratsnake (nonvenomous) or a cottonmouth (venomous). Honestly, I think it looks like the scarier option.
So, where’s the snake? And is it poisonous? It’s still a mystery.
Years ago, my great grandmother stepped out her front door and was bitten by a copperhead hiding under the threshold. So, no one’s allowed outside without boots and jeans for the time being.
I just hope it doesn’t turn up in the house! The game warden will be getting a phone call. I don’t want to shoot a hole in my floor, and I’m not going to drag it out by the tail. Maybe I should get an animal trap. Hmmmm.
And I thought I was creeped out putting my toes under the couch before!
I’ll keep you posted. Prayers are appreciated.