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snake in grass
Photo by Caden Van Cleave on

Our little moving adventure has been quite an…adventure. Two months later, our house is still not completely set, pipes remain broken by the install crew, we’ve had to move and increase the capacity of the septic system, our well dried up, and we had to hire our own contractor to put in decks lest we fall off the rickety steps supplied by the dealer.

It’s been an ordeal to say the least.

On the positive side…

We have gotten to know our two country neighbors really well. Both are the nicest people ever!

They have supplied our water for over two weeks while we waited for a well driller to show up. One fed our large family wonderful meals and kind words, while the other hustled the local drilling company to fit us in their schedule.

It’s nice to make friends with those in the know.

And we’ve learned to make our way around this area really well…probably something we wouldn’t have known were we all settled in from the get-go.


While the country has its advantages, we do have snakes in our area. And nearly all of them are poisonous.

Our neighbors forewarned us of the common deadly variety. As humans, we were (so far) able to avoid being in line of attack with about 6 of them.

But dogs aren’t that smart.

Being creatures with the natural instinct or predator, they think themselves impervious to danger.


There is our dog. Sweet, lovable, scared of strangers.

One night, by the chicken yard fence, as we sat by our newly set septic tanks filling them with our neighbor’s water so they wouldn’t rise out of the ground in the coming rains, we watched the dog.

Suddenly she was on point. Then jumped back.

No bark. No yipe. Nothing.

My daughter yelled, “SNAKE!”

Unlike the times they relocated the others, her husband beat the snake to death. He held no mercy. The second strike would have been deadly. The warning had already been given.

An hour later…

I noticed her right eye was closing in a squint. She wasn’t comfortable, but there wasn’t any visible sign of anything wrong.

Then she tried to lay down and yiped.

I went to my daughter and asked if she thought something was wrong.

By the time she got to my room, half the dog’s face had swollen up like a ballon.

It took another hour before locating the closest emergency vet.

The drive…

She drove while I held the dog.

The vet was great, the dog released with only the need for pain relievers, and I drove home. My daughter slept with the dog in the back seat.

All was well with the world.

Lesson learned…

This particular type of snake, a copperhead, though deadly, is kinder than most. It will give a dry bite with no venom, or a warning bite with little venom. It is only when you provoke the sucker that you will get the full brunt of its fury.

And if you don’t make it to the hospital quickly, you probably will die.

We had to learn to live with timber rattlers on our old country property. They grew to 7′ or so in the woods beyond our fence. We learned to listen for them, keep our property clean from underbrush, and avoid their habitat.

Live and let live…

They avoided us, we avoided them. And it worked for over 20 years.

We are learning the nature of these new creatures habits. Once we are here long enough, we can keep better eye on the dogs as well.

If they will listen.

There are far deadlier snakes and creatures in the area than we expected. But it is where God put us. We must learn to adapt.

The creatures were here first. We are the interlopers.

May we learn their ways and continue to respect nature. Living in harmony with our environment teaches us a lot. Especially about just how interconnected everything is.

God didn’t created anything with no purpose. Learning how things work together is a fascinating prospect living here.

And so far, He has taken good care of us and our critters. In spite of our ignorance.

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