Some folks like living in the city and some folks like living in the country. Both have their perks and both have their downfalls. In the city, your close to stores and neighbors, but you have to deal with breathing polluted air. In the country, you can bond with Nature and stretch your arms out and not touch your neighbors house, but you have to deal with some of the creatures that abound in the woods and fields in the country. I have lived in both, but prefer in my older age the fresh country air.
One of the things you learn when living in the country is that if something is laying on the ground , especially something that has been laying there for awhile, that you get a rake or something and carefully lift it up to make sure no critters are hiding there to surprise or attack you.
Now in the country, it is not unusual when driving down the road to see snakes, mainly rattlers laying out on the black top sunning themselves. I have seen many in my days down here, and will drive everywhere but over the snake for several reasons.
One, I have vehicle that is light weight. The second and major reason is that when I first moved down here and seen my first snake in the road, the person driving told me that if you didn't kill the snake the first time that you would have to back up and try and drive over it again. Just the thought of doing that would make my stomach go all queasy and do somersaults. Also, that if you didn't run over it at just the right point that the snake could whip itself up and wrap around under your car and eventually find it's way inside your vehicle. Maybe that is true and maybe it isn't, but hearing it from more than one person, I definitely believed it.
The other day was the start of Market days. It was time to get the car loaded with things to sell and head out and get my spot for the season. Basically, all I had to do was load my stuff to sell. The tents, poles and tables had all still been stored in the car from last year. The vehicle had also been sitting for awhile in this one area.
When in the country back woods, your eyes and ears are always tuned to what is going on around you. Especially when you have as many creatures hanging around as I do. I got the vehicle loaded, went back into the house to get my purse and cup of coffee and get ready to hit the road.
I was all excited, first day of market, the joy of seeing old friends again and catching up on happenings since we all was last together. It was going to be a good time.
I got to market and from all the rains, the grounds had dips and ruts and I managed to get stuck in one of them trying to back into my space. Gunning the engine to get out of it , everything in the car shifted. No problem, I would just straighten everything back up when I started unloading, and unloading is what I started doing.
We all hollering back and forth while we are setting up, calling greetings and seeing if each other needed any help. I was about halfway unloaded and went to reach for a pot that had slipped down by the floor board. I pulled my hand back like quick lightening, tripped over my feet and started scrambling backwards on the ground screaming my head off yelling snake!!! Snake!! Snake!!!!!!!
Folks all came running from all over, bringing whatever tool they could find. Crowbars, tent poles, anything to try and kill it. I'm standing their slobbering, shaking and trying to explain to this by now huge crowd of folks that the snake was curled up just under the edge of the back of the front set and the floor board of the back seat. Right where the seat belt holder is.
I'm standing back while all these men are taking about which way would be the best way to try and get it out, since I still had so much stuff down in that area and they didn't want it to escape out into the market and maybe hurt somebody else. They asked me what color it was and if I had seen the head. I told them no, I only had seen the body coiled up like how they do when maybe they gonna strike and that it was a grayish color with blackish rings on it.
By now the crowd has gotten really huge with folks all talking about the best way to get it and what kind it might be. A couple of men said they had their pistils with them and permits and that if it could be flushed out that they could shoot it, but that idea was nixed as there was so many people and children now around all watching and waiting too.
The men finally decided to surround the car , all around and that one man would try and chase it out. I don't think there was anybody at their booths by now. Everybody was getting ankle deep around my car with weapons in hand and eyes on the ground to watch for it. I'm standing at the back of the pile ready to run as fast a s my legs will carry me and to jump on top of somebody else's car as soon as they reached to get it out.
I hear the guy who is going to try and hook it and pull it out holler that he sees it. Everybody is poised and ready. He says on the count of three he gonna snag it and fling it out if he can. Us chicken folks, me included take a step even further back while everybody else took a step forward and waited with bated breath for the third count.
He yelled three and flung it out and all these guys started beating it on the ground. Next thing I know they all stopped and everybody is looking at me, at the ground and at me and folks are started to laugh. What's going on? Did they kill it? What kind was it? I start pushing my way through the crowd trying to get back to my car.
Folks are still laughing and snickering and some smiling. I get up to my car and the guys are all talking away. They look at me and asked me if I wanted my dead snake. I said no Thank you, and would they be kind enough to dispose of it for me. That started another major round of chuckles, especially when they saw the puzzled look on my face. They informed me that I really needed to see this snake. What could I do but look, after all these men had been brave enough to get it out of the car and kill it for me.
Filled with dread I moved slowly towards them and what was laying on the ground at their feet. They all got quiet and just stood watching me. I looked and started turning white, then looked some more and could feel a slow blush start up my neck. The more I looked the redder and redder I got. My face was giant flame and could have roasted hot dogs and marshmallows all night it was so heated.
There was the trophy laying there all beat up, covered in dirt and dust. All these brave folks had just spent all that time and energy killing and old weather worn bungee cord that had been curled up and only the rope part had been showing.
One of the men picked up what was left of my cord and handed it to me while they all started chuckling and dispersing back to their own tables to finish setting up. I rolled it up and went to throw it back into my car and headed to the dumpster with it instead when I heard the words, "Don't let it bite ya during the night," amongst another round of gaffs.
Guess I better get used to wearing the color red on my face for this Market season, and maybe the next few seasons, as I know this is one adventure I am not going to live down for quit awhile.
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