Spring Is For Slithering

Spring is — er — springing to life all over the place. On my lawn, the first fresh green tendrils of crabgrass are beginning to bravely peek through the dead leftover leaves. Cracks in the driveway are starting to sprout with joyful weeds that look so healthy they might eventually grow legs and walk around. In other words, everything is normal.

It won’t surprise you to hear that I’ve never been overly fond of yard work, but in certain other ways I grew up as somewhat of a nature boy. I was thinking about that recently while watching a TV show that featured snakes. As a boy I was always happy that Spring had arrived because then I could tromp the woods and look for the scaled little critters. You see, I fancied myself a herpetologist. (That’s an expert in reptiles and amphibians — not someone who studies cold sores.)

I’ve written before about my snake-loving days so I won’t go on and on, but I was thinking specifically of the time I thought I had caught a record snake. It was a bright green snake, a small type that comes in two varieties, according to my handy-dandy little pocket snake book.  After I got it safely home I began to read more about it and I also measured it (which is a little tricky). I don’t remember all the numbers now, but I do remember that it was several inches longer than what the book listed as that type’s maximum.

I was sure I had a record snake, but didn’t know what to do about it. As it turned out, it didn’t matter. My little sister took it to school one day and at some point it slithered away.

Leif Shires – “Nature Boy”

5 thoughts on “Spring Is For Slithering

  1. Well once again BG, you have touched on a very relatable topic. Takes me back to the brief time in my life as a young boy when I had attained some measure of notoriety in a particular local neighborhood. It was a place where I would often embark on snake hunting adventures with my “big jar” and I soon became known among the locals as “Snake Boy”. That’s right – Snake Boy! Tarzan and Sheena, queen of the jungle, had nothing on me.

    You can be assured I loved every minute of my short jaunt with such fame. I fear on the other hand that as a young lad I may have done some rather dangerous things when it came to those critters but then who knows, maybe I really was “snake boy”. I posted about it sometime ago and if you like, you can read about it here


  2. Like you, I was/am a reptile fancier. However, in Oz, the most common snakes are all poisonous. So my Mum & Dad used to freak out a bit if I came home with anything that slithered.

    Pity about your sister allowing yours to make it’s escape. Would have been great to find out if it was indeed a “record”

    And I hope you ain’t no “Ratlesnaking Daddy”


  3. Alan, I’m glad I fixed the link to your piece because it’s a good one.

    Pete, I don’t know about being a “Rattlesnaking Daddy” but I do have a little experience with rattlesnakes — I’ve eaten the meat, and yes, it tasted like chicken to me.

    Thanks, guys — didn’t know there were so many snake-fanciers out there. 😉


  4. Okay…I’ll fess up to that one. I remember I was in 6th grade and I took it to school in my “bucket” purse that just had flaps that overlapped on top for closure. Unfortunately the snake discovered he could wiggle through them. I had placed it on the floor by my desk without the teacher knowing I had it in there. When it was time for recess I took my purse outside, thinking the snake was still in it, to get maximum attention from classmates in the school yard and discovered it had escaped. I was sooo disappointed.


  5. 6th grade for you? Seems like it would have been earlier than that, but maybe I’m thinking of a different snake. After all, we had a lot of them around. 😉


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