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Saturday, May 28 2011

God has a way of putting things into perspective. For instance, long about the time you start bellyaching about cockroaches, something more significant appears . . . and all before breakfast.

Without the benefit of morning coffee, I headed to the barn to feed the livestock. (Pay close attention to the path.)

It's a short walk to the barn. Five dogs preceded me . . . multiple times. Back and forth they ran down the path.  (That's important.)

See where Trace is now? 

Yeah. Right about there. As I flip-flopped my way (in shorts!) down the path and got right about there, I happened to notice something in the corner of my eye.  My brain registered the sight just a nanosecond before my feet did.

There on my right, just a foot and a half from my bare leg and flip-flop feet was a snake. YES!  I KNOW!!!!  (cue "Psycho" soundtrack)

Quit looking. He's gone.

But at the time, he wasn't gone. He was laying there, stock still, in front of God and everybody, hoping no one saw him.  But I did.  I just didn't have my camera. Five idiot dogs continued to run back and forth down the path, now fearsome-confused, because I had stopped.  There was a break in their routine. Progress to the barn had stopped, and it confused them.  They crisscrossed close to the snake, but he didn't move, and they didn't notice him.  For all I know, they'd been playing cards with him all morning before I got out of bed.

So here he was, in all his glory, waiting to see what was going to happen.  He was a yellow-belly water snake - harmless. Probably lives in the rocks beside the pond near the barn. But I still didn't want him here. 

 In the immortal words of Richard Pryor, 

 "Snakes . . . make you hurt yourself."

So I took a rake and prodded him.  He eased through the fence and disappeared through the bricks into the Border Collie Bunkhouse. (which they won't be using anytime soon now!)  It is a small wooden building that has doggy doors which open into chain-link runs.


Stanley the Snake moved into the Bunkhouse. I grabbed my camera and went to get his picture.  He's shy.  That's fine, cuz I wuz skeered.

 No, my dogs will not be going in this building for a while. I don't want them encountering Stanley and learning they can play with a snake.

I'm sure that the moment I moved Stanley with a rake, Lily decided snakes must be erradicated (like roaches and mice!) and the last thing I want is her playing with Stanley (and not getting hurt) and then tackling a cottonmouth (with serious consequences!) I'm hoping Stanley finds his way back to the pond before I meet him in the dark and hurt myself.

Oh, woe is me.  These kind of adventures didn't happen when Alice the Bloodhound was alive.  Her nose never failed to detect a snake.  She had learned from Frio the Catahoula Leopard Dog (the best snake-huntin' dog in all of Texas!) that snakes were bad and could never be ignored.  You must call the Human's attention to all snakes! I used to turn Frio loose in the garden to find any snakes BEFORE I went in there to weed.  I miss that dog . . .


Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 10:52 am   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Sounds like you need another "snake-hunting" dog (that WON'T play cards with it)!
Posted by Lynn on 05/28/2011 - 02:53 PM
Yeah, we need another dog like I need another hole in the head. That said, if I ever find myself in need of an all-around farm dog that doesn't have to herd, I might just get another Catahoula Leopard Dog. Frio was simply the best of dogs. Not much herding skills, but fantastic snake/oppossum/critter dog.
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 05/30/2011 - 12:34 PM

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