Situation: We had kids over to play. Now kids love the ranch. There are miles of yet to be explored pastures, wild animals galore and yes… snakes…
Now… I gave the “watch out for snakes” and, if you find one, “leave it alone” because “you don’t know if it’s poisonous or not” speech. I told them that even I can’t always tell if it’s poisonous. So I repeated… “Just Leave It Alone!”
So, you can imagine the chaos and horrific screams when a small snake was discovered on the back porch.
I herded the kids inside. Put on boots and grab a shovel. Then charge outside.
I get close enough to get a look. Garden snake. Not poisonous.
But, because I’m a rancher’s wife and have learned the importance of snakes, and how they help keep the field mice out of my attic, I swept the snake into the grass…
Then, I charged back inside and ordered the kids to play in the front yard.
Yes, I snarled and gave them the ‘don’t-you-dare-go-into-the-back-yard’ glare again. So, I was confident they would leave the snake alone.
About twenty minutes passed…
The back door opens. All the kids troop in. Grinning.
Sasha, 7 years-old and cute as a button says: “That snake wasn’t poisonous.”
Me, instantly alert: “How do you know?”
Sasha looking victorious: “Because he wasn’t brightly colored. And, when I poked him with my shoe he didn’t curl up. And, when I pressed my finger against his mouth, he didn’t bite.”