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  • Writer's pictureScale Lily

Snake and the Fat Man

I stand corrected, this is a Coach Whip snake. We were looking for Indigo and Scarlet King snakes on our way to a section we call the Piney Woods, when out of the corner of my eye I noticed this fellow. He was out in the open, facing the last bit of sunlight before evening. The snake was so still he looked almost dead and did not move at my approach. It is funny though, even at 41 years old and thousand of snake sightings later, I still get a rush, especially when its a snake I don't typically see. I understand that natural check and even to some degree the irrational fear that sweeps across many people at the site of these creatures. Your mind races through it's index of venomous vs. non-venomous, and all snakes share similar structure. Even when you reach the conclusion that this animal is no threat to me based upon its head shape, eyes, markings or known identity, you now have to contend with instinct. Some snakes mimic their venomous counterparts so well that even pheno identity becomes a much more calculated scrutiny, like in the case of the Scarlet vs. the Coral. 

There are other things that trigger certain natural and instinctual responses from us. I have been called over at work to look at a rattle snake that turned out to be a Black Racer, shaking his tail while trying to swallow a skink. My neighbor asked me to remove a pygmy rattler that turned out  to be a Hog Nose snake. I had to remove a coral snake from a young lad who believed it to be a king snake. I guess that would be a situation where dyslexia could bite you. Remember, red touches yellow can kill a fellow. 

For all there carrying on though, the striking, the tail shaking and coiling up, it is mostly bluff, but it works well to keep other animals away. Unfortunately, with humans though, they escalate  all these responses to the irrational and from that justify the destruction of something that actually serves a purpose. Snakes are marvelous animals and God's creation so I would ask you to do this: take another look at snakes. You may find them to be more beautiful, necessary, and interesting than you ever imagined. Even the venomous.


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