The scene:

A warm Spring sun gently warms a small retail outlet in the hills of West Virginia.

The cast (with the names changed to protect the innocent):

Bob, a salesman manning the counter

Whitey, our semi-retired delivery driver

Karen, the 9 year old daughter of another driver

Customer A, a middle-aged professor

Customer B, Hysterical Soccer Mom

The aforementioned Snake

Balle_M, AKA That Gallant Young Captain in the Horse Marines

Our play begins…

The prof leaves the store, then sticks his head back in and says, “Hey…you have a snake on your sidewalk.”

Karen and I go out to look and come upon this little feller, a Northern Ringneck Snake about a foot long. Karen is fascinated and kneels down to take a good look. She is at least 4 feet away from it when Hysterical Soccer Mom screams (and I mean SCREAMS), “Get back! It might be poisonous!!!”

I explained that we only have 2 poisonous types in WV, the Copperhead and the Timber Rattler and that he ain’t either one. HSM screams (and I mean SCREAMS), “How do you KNOW???” I thought about expaining coloration, head shape, etc. and then decided why bother and said, “Trust me.”

“You should kill it. What if it bites her???” (Remember, Karen is 4 feet away and this snake is about the size of a Twizzler) “Err…I really don’t think that’s gonna happen.”

Deciding to end our little drama, I picked the snake up and put it in the grass. This sent HSM into a complete panic. She got in her Subaru and left, screaming something about rabies. You know, rabies. The disease that mammals like snakes get.

Karen sighs that little-girl sigh as we walk back into the store, and the curtain falls on our little play.

Do you have HSM’s email addy? You could send her something containing maybe, badgers? And OOH a snake! :wink:

I frequently shop at a pet store that sells snakes. One of the employees took a snake out and it wrapped around his waist through his belt loops. He left it there as he went about his business. Then a woman came up and told him he had a cool looking belt–and about hit the ceiling when the “belt” started moving.

Sigh, some people.

I used to live (briefly) in a newly-planted tract home in Santa Clarita, CA. I came home from work and there was a giant rattler in the street. He was just basking. About a yard long. Grandaddy of the desert and whatnot. So I called Animal Control.

Stupid lady (whuddya know, another Hysterical Soccer Mom cum SUV) decided that animal control was no good and ran over the poor guy several times. Animal control showed up about 2 minutes later.

Just ticks me off.

Out here in my parts (Mojave Desert) we catch and release snakes. Even Mojave Greens. They’re just trying to make a living, too. :slight_smile:
BTW the little girl Karen sounds like she rocks!

Last summer, my daughter and her friends were out wandering around by the pond. Daughter is not afraid of snakes, since we are all animal lovers at our house.
She came home with a bucket, and inside the bucket was this VERY pretty little snake. Not more than a foot long or so. Friendliest little thing you’ve ever seen. I had held it, talked to it, and so on. Beautiful markings on the snake. Something about the markings on the snake just really didn’t click with me, but I knew I’d seen that type before, somewhere.
Daughter took the little snake, let it wrap itself around her neck and proceeded to sit down and happily watch some television.
I went online and did a search regarding the friendly little snake.
It was a water moccasin.
I then took the friendly little snake OFF my daughters neck and we took him back to the pond, to live happily ever after.
She always laughs when I tell that story.

This is why mommy drinks…

Oooh, oooh, snake stories!!!

When I was about 10 or so, I went down into the basement. I noticed what appeared to be an extension cord, coiled up on the floor. I went to pick it up. Jumped out of my skin when the “extension cord” moved. It was a small snake, Twizzler-sized like in the OP, and almost certainly nonvenomous.

Fetched my brother, who was about 15, hoping he’d know what to do with it. I left the room. A while later, I asked him what he’d done with it - assuming the answer would be “scooped it up in a box and took it outside”.

It turns out he’d put it down the garbage disposal. :eek: :mad: :eek: :mad: :eek: :mad: I shouldn’t have been surprised - this is the same sibling who once disposed of a mouse by catching it in a plastic bag and dropping a flagstone on it. :eek: :mad: :eek: :mad: :eek: :mad:

Two or three years ago, I got a call from Papa Zappa, who was at home waiting for the kids’ sitter to arrive. She phoned him from outside saying “I was going to go into the garage but a SNAKE came out”. He investigated, and indeed saw a 6-foot black rat snake heading out of the garage. He made some phone calls to animal control, they referred him to some sort of pest control company, who offered to come out for 300 bucks. I told my spouse “For 300 bucks, I’ll deal with the d*mn thing!” (as in, remove from premises, unharmed). Fortunately for my nerves, we never saw it again. I’m not particularly snake-phobic, but there’s a very good chance I was in the enclosed garage with that thing when I headed to work, and if it had shown itself to me, I’d surely have screamed first and asked questions later :smiley:

It’s really too bad that didn’t happen in New Jersey. She could have been arrested. It’s illegal to even handle one in the wild.

They have rattlers in New Jersey? :wink:

The Timber Rattlesnake is an endangered species in NJ, but they’re there.

The first mowing of the lawn at the cabin is always an event. It’s not uncommon to be out here with a scythe lopping it down to a mowable length. When LilMiss was 5 she went down the hill to see what how the guys were doing, started dancing around in the long grass… “OUCH! A SNAKE! I GOT BIT BY A SNAKE!”

My dad said there was no way that she got bit by a snake. Impossible! She came up to the cabin and I cleaned off the blood running down her calf. Sure as heck, two little puncture wounds about 8" up her leg. Dad still didn’t believe she was bit by a snake- until he moved some deadfall by the shed and a slew of garter snakes came out from under the wood.

Last year was the first time she could see one slithering across her path without her completely spazzing out. My darling nephew, cruel bastid that he is, picked one up and thought she might like to pet it. Didn’t go over well.

Heck, they have record-breakers in upstate NY, even. I remember they got a 6-footer when I was younger, up in Unadilla Forks or thereabouts.

I had a baby rattlesnake out at the pool last Summer. My BIL found him hanging out around the beer cooler. He was so cute coiling his little self up and striking out at the cooler. I picked him up in a shovel and deposited him in a field across the street. I kinda thought I’d see a mama rattlesnake in the near vicinity at some point but never did. I still wonder just what my beer cooler did to piss off that baby rattlesnake.

Well, wouldn’t you be pissed off if there was a cooler full of beer sitting there on a hot summer day, and you didn’t have any hands!

I don’t like snakes, and am afraid of them unless they are quite small-it’s something about they way they move. ugh.

but I firmly believe in live and let live. Stupid mom- and the one with the deadly SUV should be run over her own self.
#1 son got to hold a 25 ft (or so he said) Burmesealbino(? it was goldeny-orange-white) python at the reptile show in his honors Bio class yesterday.

Glad he got to do that, and glad I didn’t have to see it!
badger badger badger…heh

My ex couldn’t even look at *pictures * of snakes without getting a serious case of heebie-jeebie-willies.

Several years ago, I was doing some work at a boot maker’s shop and standing upright on the worktable was a grocery sack of snake skins that were destined to become boots. He came in and looked in the bag.

Bad idea.

He turns pale, yelps and jumps back several feet. He then re-approaches the table, grabs the sack, folds down the top, then grabbed a stapler and staples the bag shut with about a dozen staples, all while gasping and panting.

Talk about being afraid of snakes!

I doubt seriously that HSM has email. As you know, everyone on the internet is a child molester.

Also, despite her best efforts, there is a chance that someway, somehow, Junior might see a titty.

You were probably drinking domestic.

I too am pathologically terrified by snakes, but I won’t hurt one unless it happens to be trying to hurt me in a “mmm, lunch” kind of way. Which ain’t likely to happen.

When I was in college I was walking around at my hometown’s reservoir taking some pictures when I heard something and looked down to see a snake slithering past my feet. The next thing I knew I was 5 feet higher on the footbridge I was next to, with no knowledge of how I got there.

A few years ago I was coming home one night with both hands full of groceries. As I approached the front door of my building I saw what appeared to be a stick leaning up against the door frame. Of course, we all know by now that it wasn’t, right? I nearly had a heart attack when I got close enough to see what it was. Probably 5 to 6 feet long, with no more than 2 feet on the ground and the rest of it up against the only door I could get in through. After I calmed down I stood in the middle of the courtyard calling out “there’s a snake down here,” figuring it was somebody’s pet that got loose. When nobody came out I-not having a cell phone at the time or I would have called animal control-finally worked up enough nerve to reach my key out to the door, only a few inches from the snake, turn the lock enough to shove the door open and leap inside. Of course, the snake didn’t even move. It didn’t care, right? Then when inside I forgot all about calling animal control.

It was some years ago, back when I was still living at home. We were kittysitting for my sister’s cat; a plump, declawed black and white cat named Maxwell. While watching TV, I noticed Maxwell playing with something. It looked something like one of the long-tailed felt toy mice we had around for his amusement. But something was odd. Maxwell didn’t care for those toys, and he was going after this with gusto. I decided to go see what exactly he got ahold of, while Mom continued watching TV.

“Uh, Mom, that isn’t a mouse Maxwell’s playing with.”
“Well, what is it?”
“It’s a … snake.”

At which point Mom damn near jumped out of her skin.

To be precise, it was a baby copperhead, about five inches long. Maxwell held his own easily against it, even without claws. But a baby copperhead isn’t the most comforting thing to find inside one’s house… We spent quite a bit of time searching the house for the parents and siblings of Maxwell’s prey.

I think snakes just lay their eggs and move on-they don’t take care of their young.

gotpasswords, your ex is just like me. I am extremely ophidiophobic-cannot look at pictures of snakes (unless we’re talking cutesy cartoon type snakes, like Sir Hiss in Disney’s Robin Hood, or something like that). I can’t watch them on tv, or even think about them for longer than a few minutes, or I get wigged out.
We used to live on an old estate that was divided up into four apartments. The place was infested with black snakes, and my parents, knowing how extreme my fear was, and still is, made sure I never even knew it until we moved out. Once, there was a huge, nine-footer crawling up the side of our house-my dad called animal control and my mom took me off to see my grandparents.

The day after we moved, (I was ten), I was moping that I didn’t like my new room as much, and I missed the absolutely freaking huge backyard I used to have. My father then told me about the snakes. I immediately fell in love with the new home. :wink:

And while snakes don’t carry rabies, according to my father, you can get tetanus from them. And salmonella, possibly, I think.