Karis was climbing a tree in August, and she ran inside breathless to tell me there was a snake in the tree. I said, "Is it green?" We have lots of grass snakes that climb my parents' trees, and I knew I didn't have to be worried if it was green. She said, "No, it's grey with diamonds on its back."
Well...maybe we should get your grandfather.
It was indeed a grey, speckled snake, about a foot long, with small white diamonds on its back, but no rattles. My dad caught it, checked for fangs, which were non-existent, and then after all the kids touched it (mine and Kelly's kids), my dad let it go down by the creek.
In about five minutes, Jonathan (Kelly's oldest) yelled, "SNAKE."
Everyone ran outside again, but everyone lost sight of it. My dad saw movement, stepped on it, saw that it was an 18-inch coral snake, and then cut it's head off. Even though I had already told my children the rhyme, it was a good reminder that "Red and Yella kill a fella."
Everyone got to examine its head to verify that there were no real fangs. It was then that I learned that their mouths aren't big enough to bite more than your toe. Then the kids took turns touching and handling the body of the snake. My mom said something curious to my dad, "Keith, don't they usually travel in pairs?"
My dad said that since 1987 when he saw the first coral, he has only seen a total of 6 coral snakes in the yard. That's enough for me!! Of course, that is not counting the rattlesnakes and copperheads we've seen. Yikes! Dad mowed the grass later that day.
Well, it would be great if the story ended there, but it doesn't.
My kids and I went back to Katy to finish up our move, and my dad caught another snake on the carport. The cats had cornered it. My dad thinks it was an indigo snake. He took it to the creek so that it could continue to hunt rats or mice. It was FOUR feet long.
The story is still not over.
We moved from Katy to Yoakum , and our first Thursday there, our neighbor who came to pick up mom for Bible study, walked up and saw that the cats had cornered another coral snake under the 4-wheeler. My dad, in the middle of brushing his teeth, was ordered by my mom to come in a hurry! My wonderful dad swept it out, stepped on it, and cut off its head.
It was Karis, this time, who wanted her picture with it.
Maybe God is taking extra measures to make sure we are ready for Africa...