S. N. A. K. E.
BY RAY VAN COR
The Greenville Standard
The photo above was taken by turkey hunters in Monroe County during turkey season this year and was posted on face book.
The words the photo brings to mind are short. My brother, Caveman, said, “When I see this photo, I see a pair of boots and a belt.” Wonder how he got his nickname, don’t!
That’s another story. I truly enjoyed scaring the daylights out of my siblings and especially my sisters. One evening I was standing outside and watched as my baby sister walked out on to the porch and stood calling my name.
I knew she couldn’t see me because it was so dark and the front porch light was off. Seizing the opportunity I crawled next to the porch and knelt below where she stood.
I made a crude sound like a rattlesnake rattling and pinched her on the leg. What followed was extremely hilarious; you should’ve been there!
She ran screaming into the house, it took her several attempts to open the glass door and she fell to the floor in the living room kicking and jerking, trying ever so hard to scream snake!
Finally she got it out and my mother came thundering into the room. Sometimes I forgot the trouble my stunts got me into but the funny, “Always outweighed the consequences.”
Mama instructed my sister to calm down and let her inspect. I came inside about a minute later. I tried everything within my power not too laugh, but I made the rattling snake sound again and said, “Snake?” then roared with laughter.
My mother called my full name and used words that are not suited for church and then she got tickled at the whole thing, she couldn’t stop laughing either.
I got a reprieve from Mama but incurred the wrath of my sister. My Mother and I walked outside and I showed her where I had crouched only to see a real four-foot rattlesnake curled up less than a foot from where I had been kneeling.
It was a million wonders I hadn’t been bitten. My pucker factor went right off the scale, if you know what I mean. I killed the snake and counted my blessings but my sister’s revenge went on for months! I think she put the dog poop in my new shoes.
Anyway it’s that time of year again and friends they are out and on the move, snakes that is. I’ve killed four myself thus far, three with my truck and another with a pecan limb.
Unfortunately I let two large rattlesnakes get away. Recently a young boy that attends our Church was bitten by a copperhead and was rushed to the emergency room at the Regional hospital here in Greenville.
He was hospitalized for a couple of days touch and go and received five doses of anti-venom. Thank God he is recovering at home.
I had heard of a couple more snakebite incidents and wondered how many Butler County had this year. I started my query the health department explained that they only keep track of warm-blooded animal bites such as cat’s dogs and etc. for rabies and referred me to the Regional Hospital for my inquiries.
I called my good friend David Norrell to see if he could point me in the right direction and he quickly referred me to Mrs. Valerie Heath who is the Infection Control Nurse at Regional.
Valerie said, “We’ve had two snakebite cases this month so far.” I mentioned that I was told that the anti-venom was very expensive she replied, “The anti-venom is issued according to weight of the victim and the price ranges from a thousand to eighteen hundred dollars a vile and don’t worry we are prepared.”
I’m thinking that the young boy might have weighed fifty pounds soaking wet and he took five doses well if you do the math that means I’m going to need a lot! Stop laughing. It was interesting to learn that the anti-venom has a shelf life from a year to eighteen months.
In conclusion the Regional Hospital is ready for snakebites and do be careful look before you step and if your brother or someone should pull the same prank on you as I pulled on my sister, please, please don’t put dog poop in their shoes. I had to wear those things all year!