Did you know that rattle snakes like agriculture fields because mice and other rodents like Ag fields? Did you know that crawling along between rows of cabbage puts you really close to field mice…and rattle snakes?
So I was crawling along doing just fine. I had developed this routine of crawling about six feet or so. Then I would stop and listen for a few seconds. If I didn’t hear anything I would do it again. I had been going for about thirty minutes when I stopped to listen…and heard that telltale rattle. The bad news…OK, worse news, I couldn’t tell where it was coming from. All I knew it was loud enough to be real clear and overcome my tinnitus. So I just froze.
You have all the rules of rattle snake encounters; 1) don’t step on one, 2) stay more than ½ of their body length away from them, 3) don’t antagonize one, 4) freeze until you know where they are and then slowly move away from them with as little movement as possible. Yeah…right.
I laid their frozen. I couldn’t even begin to place his location or even his general direction from me. Then it dawned on me if that was the case I might be virtually on top of him. Most people can handle a rattle snake strike if they are not too young, reasonably healthy, and not too old. Tell me…where do I fit in there?
So I just laid there letting my mind play all kinds of games with me. Each gamed ended with me taking a strike to the face and dying. OK, there was one mind game where I took a strike to the crotch. Not to worry, I died in that one as well.
Finally, after what seemed like about three weeks of waiting the rattle stopped and I heard a faint rustle off to my right, close to my head. I waited another month before starting to crawl again. For the rest of my crawl time I heard a rattle every time I stopped to listen. It didn’t matter if there was actually a snake or not, I heard a rattle. You have no idea how hard it was for me to not just stand up and run.
I hate this life!
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