CHARLOTTE, NC: The other night we were getting ready to eat dinner when the doorbell rang. We came out to find all the neighborhood kids in our front yard screaming!
"It's a rattlesnake!", yelled Steven. "It tried to kill me!"
"Is not", states Jason. "There are no rattlesnakes in Charlotte".
"It tried to kill Steven", David declared. "I saw it rattle its tail!"
"Jason saved my life", Steven state dramatically
The was big Golden Retriever rolling on his back on the grass completely oblivious to the obvious danger and there was a small group of parents gathering in the driveway.
"What's going on our here?" we asked stupidly.
"IT'S A SNAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!! They all screamed at once
The kids had found the dog wandering our EAST CHARLOTTE NEIGHBORHOODand came to our house to see if my husband KC , "dog man", knew who it belonged to since he knows every dog within a three mile radius. As they approached our porch, all of them barefooted I might add, the saw a small snake sunning himself on our front stoop.
"Oh ssssssssssssssssssssss!" thought the snake. Seeing a big dog and about 20 children jumping up and down screaming, he did what snakes do. He tried to discourage them. He struck a few times and before he beat it out of there and under the concrete splash block next to the porch with only his little heinie sticking out. Probably checking to see how much ammo he had left.
"Could be a copperhead", say Steven's dad.
"Could be a garter snake too", I replied. "Don't kill it!"
"No, it looked like a copperhead" he answered knowingly
"Lemme see! No me! Lemme see it!" All the kids crowded up to the porch...still barefoot.
"It has hourglass markings and the pointed head", KC says." Even my grandparents would kill a copperhead"
"How many snakes do you have around here?" our new neighbor across the street asks accusingly...from across the street. A small crowd was gathering by then. I was expecting torches and pitchforks any minute.
"I'm calling CHARLOTTE ANIMAL CONTROL to come get it out of here", I said
"Tough nuggies", said the woman at the pound ( or something equally as helpful). "We don't come out get them unless they are inside your house. (INSIDE MY HOUSE!!!!!!) " You have to call the Snake Man".
Did you know that CHARLOTTE has a snake man? We don't. It's just some guy who has a thing for snakes. I got him on the phone and he told me he will come out for $100 and take the culprit away.
"I'm not paying some guy 100 bucks to come over here and get a snake", KC says. My husband is...well, we'll say thrifty.
About that time Steven's dad come up with a bucket...a tall bucket and a shovel. "Don't kill it", I said again.
"DON'T KILL IT!", screams the snake man into the phone. "They kill rats and mice. What does it look like?"
By now KC and Steven's dad have the poor sod in the bucket and we all peer into it carefully...
boy is that snake ticked off! "Oh, he's pretty I said,", rather surprised. "He is beige with two shades of darker brown creating an hourglass pattern. And he has a pointy head and fat cheeks".
"Yes", the snake man says lovingly. "They are very pretty snakes. DON'T LET IT BITE YOU!" He screams again unexpectedly. "They have venom that kills red blood cells! It will kill you! All snakes rattle their tails when getting ready to strike. It's a warning".
"What's it doing on my porch?", I asked. "Do they travel in packs?"
"They have live births", he said. "So it is either a male looking for love or a female putting out scent to attract a mate."
We debated it's fate. "Kill it!", yells the across the street neighbor, from across the street. "Don't kill it", say another. "Snakes are good for the ecology". "Take it deep into the woods and let it go", offers Jason's mom. "You have to kill it", said 10 year old Jason seriously. "If you let it go it will just come on someone else's porch".
Good point but we decided to let KC and Steven's dad take it out in the woods anyway where it can kill mice and opposums and nasty things that I don't want on the porch. When we had Rosie the cat we didn't have these problems. Five pounds of pure huntress she went out every day for the kill. Leo, the lazy lump of cat fur we have now is a specialist. He only kills rabbits. He decapitates them and leaves their bodies on the porch. We are not sure if this is a gift or a warning.
Some bird the size of a small pterodactyl ate all the fish in our fish pond and a raccoon comes by periodically to check the bird houses for eggs. We live within 3 miles of UPTOWN CHARLOTTE and near to a major highway. We have fox, deer, hawks, owls, opossums in the wooded area behind our house. CHARLOTTE may be a new city of the south but it is a jungle out there!