Turns out I'm an idiot

My neighbor came to me in my basement workshop this afternoon and asked for my help.

She had just hit a snake with her lawnmower and wanted me to ID it. I caught a baby Northern Brown snake last week, and I see them every spring, so I told her that’s probably what it was.

Nope. A young Copperhead, fully intact, but with some serious (fatal) head trauma from inquiring about that loud noise overhead. He was about 18" long, and had recently eaten as evidenced by his wide belly.

I picked him up and carried him home to show the kids what to walk away from, as I always do with venomous critters.

They both rolled their eyes, told me “It’s a Copperhead, Dad. We wouldn’t bother it.” and went back to their video games. Little know-it-alls. Fine. I’ll show Mrs. when she gets home. I left a venomous, but dead snake on a bench on the deck and went back to my shop to finish my task.

I came up later to get a gas can from the deck and noticed the snake was gone.
Querying children produced “No” from both.

Great. Either the 5lb cat, the 10lb Dachsund, or the 20lb Dachsund has made off with my prize, and surely eaten their fill. Mmmmm, snake.

A call to the veterinarian confirmed that it’s OK for pets to EAT venomous snakes, but not to get bitten by them. 6 hours later, all 3 seem fine.

Since we were unable to find any trace of the snake in the yard, I suspect the cat took it [del]under the deck[/del] to her lair, where she runs with everything she catches. By now I know it looks like a miniature horror film under there with hundreds of bones and skulls sitting around.

Note for the future: Keep snakes away from pets. Or pets away from snakes. And wear shoes in the yard from now on.

Are you expecting someone to argue with your self-assessment?

And never look under the deck.

You’re an idiot because you left a dead snake outside? I don’t get it.

Whoever didn’t eat their dinner is the culprit.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. No doubt there are lots of reasons you’re an idiot.

You should know that even decapitated snakes are capable of biting. The horrifying, horrifying evidence is here.

That story had a happier ending than I thought. I expected the snake to not really be dead and one of the kids get bit.

Zombie Snakes? Nooooooooooo!

I wasn’t going that far. But I was expecting that it would turn out the snake wasn’t actually dead and he was going to find it had crawled away after he had been handling it.

If I had just returned home from work (or errands, or pilates, or wherever) and you greeted me with a dead snake, I would cease to like you.

Next time you see the cat, say thank you.

That’s what I was thinking.* Imagine if someone had sat on the snake and got bitten on their naughty bits! :eek: :frowning: :mad:

You should avoid and/or practice extreme care handling dead venomous snakes for quite some time after their demise.

    • Though I kind of figured an “all’s well” ending just based on the tone.

Yeah, are you sure it was dead? Maybe it crawled off on its own. Also, sounds like it would be interesting to send a camera under your deck.

I caught the largest wolf spider I’d ever seen in a big jar. I took it to work with me to show everyone, and there was one woman with a spider phobia who had a panic attack. I released the spider outside, and left the jar sitting by the back door, planning on taking it home at the end of the day.

I never thought about the arachnophobe seeing the open, empty jar and freaking out that the spider had escaped.


I too thought this ‘dead’ snake wasn’t through with everyone yet.

When I was a kid I shot a cottonmouth water mocassin three times with a .22, cut off its head, threw it into a bucket in a hot trunk and the next day laid him out on a board to skin him. His heart was still beating.