Monday, April 2, 2012

For Goodness Snakes...

So there I was, just sitting up in my office, enjoying the fact that they had finally turned off the heat and turned on the AC. The house was very slowly cooling off enough that I wasn't sweating when I was just sitting still.

All at once I heard Miz Pieces on the radio calling for the Lieutenant. She was on 30 yard and since Sgt Moon is out on Sundays and Mondays, I had 30 house and the yard as well to watch over. I was a bit disgruntled that she hadn't called me first.

Then I heard her say on the radio "Come take a look at this snake!"

Uh-oh. I got up and hustled down that way to find her standing next to an offender who was holding a small snake between two fingers. It was grey and black, kind of mottled and about six inches long.

I don't know all that much about snakes. We have signed a nonaggression pact, for the most part. They don't bite me and I don't kill them unless they are in my house. We're cool like that.

Everybody was saying it was a baby copperhead. They guy was holding it firmly but carefully so it wouldn't bite him. And several of the guys (including Miz Pieces) remarked as how the babies were more venomous than full grown ones.

Sgt Uncle T showed up with Lt ET and Lt Wyatt and they all agreed that it was probably a copperhead. They had the inmate poke it in an evidence tube and take it off to show the Captain, who hopefully knew for sure.

In the meantime the offenders and Miz Pieces and I started combing the area for more of them. It was found out where they train the dogs and we didn't want any of the dogs bit. We poked around in the leaves and alongside the concrete slabs with sticks but didn't find any more.

Added later:
While we were looking for more, Miz Pieces was getting the willies about the snake. I pointed to the sidewalk where she was standing and said "They could be coming from that crack in the sidewalk there."

She squeaked and jumped off into the grass.

"Or here in the grass. Maybe from that hole under the tree there."

She moved away from the tree and said "Quit!"

I pointed up the hill and said "Or there could be a whole nest of them up there under your yard shack."

She danced around in a little circle and shivered and said "Stop it Sarge! I have to live in that shack! And my lunch box is in there!"

Hee hee hee! I'm such an evil basticule sometimes.

Captain Wheelie took the critter to Sgt Archer, who is quite wise about these things. He declared it wasn't a copperhead, but actually a black snake, also known as the Texas Rat Snake. He said it was non-poisonous and they eat mice so leave them alone.

I went back and told the offenders, who didn't believe me. So I went back in my office and looked it up on the Department of Conservation website to make sure. And yes, it was a baby black snake. Copperheads have yellow tails, especially the young ones, are are more of a sandy pinkish color where this one was grey.

And I also dispelled the rumor about the babies being more poisonous than adults. Pure fantasy. Another tidbit I picked up was that there hadn't been a reported death of a human by a copperhead in this state in almost a hundred years. When i left they all looked at me like I was some sort of snake guru.

The internet is a wonderful thing, even if it is rife with rogue Canadians. (grin)

So lesson learned. Leave the snakes alone. Maybe they will eat some of the mice. Goodness knows we have enough of those.

So Tuesday is going to be Tweed Day and Don't Go To Work Unless It's Fun Day. It will also be Pony Express Day, World Party Day and National Chocolate Mousse Day.

I guess I'll have to go to work and make it fun!


  1. That there's a Texas Rat Snake, boys. Won't cause you a lick of trouble. Why see here; you can pet it just like a puppy and it wo....OH DEAR LORD! IT'S GOT MY ARM! IT'S GOT MY ARM! I CAN FEEL IT DIGESTING MY FINGERS ALREADY! WHY WOULD A MERCIFUL GOD ALLOW SUCH A THING? WHY!!?

  2. You lived in California, you saw plenty of rattlers there. Copper heads don't look that much different and they sure don't look like rat snakes. Baby ones just look like little rattlers without the rattle.

    1. Critter- They are similar. Just a bit of difference in the coloring. Baby black snakes look like baby rattlers.