05 June 2008

Snakes alive!

I'm driving the scoot to work this morning, and I swerve to avoid a branch on the road in the The Bibb. Then I do a double-take and swing back around for a closer look. It's a four-foot long snake, right on the middle of the road. Gray, with mottles down its back. Kind of like a B&W version of a rattler (but no rattle). So I'm not too worried. Not a rattlesnake. Not a cottonmouth. Not a copperhead.

But one of the old ladies in one of the houses comes out. I point to it and say, "Don't get too close. I don't know what kind it is." She scurries to her neighbor's door, and she comes out and asks me to kill it. "I'm not riding over it in the scooter," I say. They motion over a meter-reader guy in a truck, and he agrees to run it over. He runs over it and I hear its back crack as he rears up and strikes at the tires. He's slithering madly away and the guy backs over him again. CRACK!

Still, the snake keeps going. He goes under the first old lady's car, and I watch as he slithers up her tire and disappears. I ask her to pull the car forward to suss him out and she throws me her keys. I move the car. He's still hiding up in there. I take a peek and see him at the top of the wheel well. So the second lady gets me a stick with a metal prong on the end. I try to pull him out, but he climbs up higher and disappears completely.

I shrug my shoulders. "I'm sure he's harmless," I say, "and he can't get inside the car, so don't worry about that."

I look him up online and it's a harmless gray rat snake. "You should've just left him alone," Chitwood tells me. And he's right. Poor little guy. Last I heard, the ladies had called Animal Control to get him out.

"Now the revenue man wanted grandaddy bad
He headed up the holler with everything he had
It's before my time but I've been told
He never came back from Copperhead Road"
Steve Earle, "Copperhead Road"


Anonymous said...

may the rats plague your home!

Brad Barnes said...

I do feel bad for the guy. But the plague of angry little old ladies who know where I live is far scarier...