Sunday, June 18, 2017
Sandy and I recently had the opportunity to entertain one of her longtime friends. Visiting Susan's home in northwest Arkansas a few years ago, we were welcomed with open arms.
She had since married Lanny, whom we had met only at their wedding. So when Susan told Sandy they would be coming down for the weekend, we grew anxious. Not only would Sandy savor the opportunity to spend time with her friend, but we would also enjoy the process of getting better acquainted with her husband.
We hit it off instantaneously, sharing stories and laughing until late on the night they arrived. Bright and early the next morning, we headed to the property where I was raised.
We arrived with an ice chest full of goodies: sausage ground from a wild hog I had bagged; fresh eggs; a frozen package of hash browns; frozen biscuits, and ingredients necessary to produce gravy.
A selection of cast-iron skillets were in the truck, along with the cast-iron Dutch oven I would use to bake the bread. We were geared up to cook and observe fellowship over a huge breakfast concocted amidst the wonderful outdoors.
After breaking bread and walking to the pond and feeding the fish, we traveled a mile or so down the road to admire the beautiful handiwork of Jim and Barbara Larkin. After a lengthy visit, we hiked a short distance to say hello and introduce Susan and Lanny to yet another couple.
Little did we know that a morning that had gone without a hitch, on the verge of perfection, would grow even more memorable.
Walking back to the vehicle, traipsing along in tall grass, I noticed something slapping my ankle. Though finding it somewhat strange that it stuck to my sock for a split second, I never bothered looking down, suspecting it was a bramble.
I grew a little more concerned when Susan, walking behind me, suddenly screamed.
A large speckled kingsnake was coiled between us.
I had stepped on that snake, and she had swung around trying to bite me.
We were in no danger, with kingsnakes nonvenomous and posing no harm. I was elated to find the beautiful specimen, as we had been experiencing a copperhead issue on our land. That in mind, I quickly reached down and snatched her up.
I must first ask for Jim's permission. But if he didn't mind, I would happily relocate her to my land. While releasing the snake near the house, I felt a sense of relief. Two of my renter's cats had recently suffered through snake bites and there was no doubt of the species responsible.
She had actually watched a large copperhead bite one of her pets on the nose. What's more, the snake disappeared and took shelter within a few feet of her back porch.
I was certainly happy about releasing the snake, in that large copperhead might soon meet its demise. But I was also a little concerned about what had transpired earlier in the day. A kingsnake bite? No big deal. But an otherwise perfect morning would have been ruined I had walked haphazardly within striking distance of a venomous reptile.Sports on 06/18/2017
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