Days Gone By - stories from the past

If you hate snakes – then don’t read this

(This story will make you watch where you walk)

A Snake Story

I have always hated snakes.  Living in the country I hated snakes. Living in the city I hate snakes.

One night this fall I was leaving my daughter and son in law’s house and was proceeding to walk out the front door.  My son in law always walks me to my car on the driveway with me protesting that I can walk by my self.

This night he had his shoes off and he relented to my request and told me good night and closed the front door. Smiling to myself I was thinking that I had won this round of protest!

I noticed a faint curvy stick on the parking pad

The house floodlights were turned on, but the light did not shine on the walkway and parking pad on the front of the house. I had several light bags in my hands and was not looking particularly where I walked until I noticed a faint curvy stick on the parking pad.  Walking past it my brain registered that it was a stick, no something else!

Then I began to run as my imagination took over …was it a snake?
I ran to the back of the garage and knocked on the door calling, “Mark, Mark.” He opened the door somewhat surprised and I said, “It may be my imagination, but I think I almost stepped on a snake on the parking pad.” I was almost hysterical.snake

Mark ran and I followed out to the parking pad.  After one look he determined it was truly a snake. Then, I was hysterical! Mark ran back to the garage and couldn’t find a hoe, but picked up a broom nearby and proceeded to beat the snake to death.   After the attack the broom was in shambles, in three pieces. The snake was killed with a broom!

After the snake was not moving I calmed down and was brave enough to go close and look at it.  Neighbors came over and identified it as a copper head, about two and one half feet long.

The neighbor took the snake away and later I learned from my grandson that the neighbor had taken the snake home and cooked it on the outside grill and ate it. Ghastly!

It was determined, after much though that the snake had secluded himself in some bales of pine straw that had been put out in the shrubbery the day before.

Now, I have nightmares of stepping on a snake anywhere I go.

Do you have a snake story?

Read more in Chinaberries and Other Memories of Alabama by Jean Butterworth – Read eBooks using the FREE Kindle Reading App on Most Devices


Chinaberries and Other Memories of Alabama (Kindle Edition)

By (author):  Butterworth, Jean

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About Jean Butterworth

Jean Champion Butterworth is originally from Tuscaloosa County, graduating from Tuscaloosa County High School, Druid City Hospital School of Nursing and The University of Alabama. She is a retired nurse. Working 27 years at The Children’s Hospital as Department Director, Specialty Clinics. She has traveled extensively in Europe, Africa, The Middle East, and Eastern Europe. You can contact Jean at [email protected] See additional stories by Jean Butterworth on She also now has a Kindle Ebook Chinaberries and Other Memories of Alabama

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  1. New world snakes are fantastic. Pit viper babies are born alive and all males have 2 penises. 2 facts -now go to your library and read more

  2. I HATE SNAKES! They don’t have to bite me to kill me. The heart attack will.

  3. Only good snake is a dead snake! Sorry snake lovers…. Can’t find a good in them and I feel the same about wasps!

  4. Kill all the snakes and watch the rodent population explode…..rats and mice carry diseases , snakes do not…

  5. “The only good snake is a dead snake” comment is pretty much the stupidest comment ever. If you have such a fear of snakes that you feel all must die, even though you know they are harmless, you have some sort of mental disability.

  6. Snakes are here for a purpose to kill vermin. And Arizona we have 13 different varieties of rattlesnakes. We also have pack rats as large as a kitten.

  7. Snakes love to sun themselves just under pine straw as the weather begins to warm. When the balers come through, they get baled into the pine straw and eventually wind up in your yard. On three recent occasions I have cut orange cords to find snakes inside. Fortunately, after the first bale, I learned to carry the straw away from my body and stand back as far as possible when cutting baling cords. The first bale contained a fairly large adult snake which popped out like a jack in the box when I tossed the bale open on the ground. The other two bales contained smaller snakes, one per bale which all slithered off to the flower bed before I could identify any. In that same location, two years before, my neighbor had landscapers stack around 30 bales delivered in his driveway. I discovered before bedtime that I had left the garage door open. Deciding I needed to step into the garage to close it, I stepped, barefoot onto the back doorstep, then something moved on the doormat. Surprise! There lay a snake which I surmised had likely come from the bales within 20 feet of my open garage door. I slowly reached for the shovel hanging on the wall beside me, and carefully pulled it down. I chopped just behind the critter’s head, separating it from its body. It lay wiggling approximately 8 inches from my bare feet. In summary, I haven’t seen many bales of pine straw that weren’t snakey. Be careful! Some are very poisonous. Also if you transport bales in your car (like me) you might want to place each bale into a large lawn and leaf bag tied into a knot. (Just in case a critter breaks free of the bale mid transport. Hey, it could happen.) I’ve also heard of baby ground rattlers getting baled up in clumps and their bite is as deadly as their Mom’s. That happened to a lady I know in Mobile several summers ago. She was bitten spreading her straw and had to be rushed to the hospital. Be careful with pine straw!

  8. A commoner from Brooklyn would say, “Take a powder, Lady.”

  9. I am no snake lover, but I have educated myself to the fact that if I kill a non-poisonous snake, a poisonous snake may move into that same area in search of the same food source the non-poisonous snake was after. Which one had you rather have? Know the difference.

  10. Snakes are as scared of you, as you are of them. They only strike because you startled them. If you see a snake slowly back away and don’t look them in the eyes. Snakes are God’s creation too ! 🙂

  11. Raised on a farm so I have always been around snakes. Hate them, no, don’t like to me surprised by one, no and neither do they like me surprising them. If I encounter a poisonous snake I will usually kill it especially if small children or pets are around. I try and let all the black snakes, hog snakes, and king snakes pass without harm.

  12. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, five people die of snake bite in the USA each year. Bees account for about 50 deaths. Influenza kills about 20,000 people annually. 90 people die from lightening strikes. 30,000 or more die in traffic accidents.

    You are safer walking around a venomous snake than you are stepping into a cross walk.

    Just sayin’.


  14. I’m with you. I hate all snakes; big, little, live and dead.

  15. Almost stepped on a snake right outside our doorsteps, my dogs jumped over the thing. My husband caught 2 juvenile timber rattlesnakes just hanging out in our backyard and our porch. No we didn’t kill the snakes as they weren’t really in attack mode. I just shood the big one away, I’m sure it will be back. The juveniles we brought to a reserve.

    1. I pray they come back to bite all who think this is right.

  16. I also have a great fear of snakes. I have no idea why. Twice in my life I had such a real life dream. I woke up screaming there is snakes in the bed while grabbing the light.( I have no idea how I moved so fast.) Thankfully my husband has a strong heart because I scared him too. I am getting somewhat better. I use to avoid snake stories and pictures. 🙂

  17. Hating snakes is irrational. If one hates snakes and wants all snakes dead then one best learn to love vermin.

  18. I have always held to the belief that many in the western world hate snakes because of the negative impression given by those that interpret the scripture passage in Genesis that after seducing Eve, satan was cursed to be a snake when in fact this is probably not the case. In order for the general public to be influenced by this belief it does not matter whether you were raised in a “religious” family or if you are a non-believer as that belief was propagated in TV, movies, comics and so many other sources of everyday information. Certainly a “bad rap” for snakes. On average five people or less die from snake bites in the US annually. Snakes are environmentally necessary and quite cool……

  19. As long as they do not eat my chickens they can stay in my yard.

  20. No, I don’t care for snakes and I always am on the lookout for them!

  21. When I was a boy growing up in Mobile the University of South Alabama’s herpetologists would pay us $2.00 a snake and $5 for a big timber rattler.
    Watch your step in the warm weather. They strike first and then rattle. I think it’s contempt.

  22. That photo is not a Copperhead, it’s a timber Rattlesnake, the photo in the article looks like a California King snake !

  23. Once years ago I was walking through the woods and was struck in the leg by a big timber rattler. After three days of agonizing pain the rattle snake died.

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