It was close to milking time yesterday evening but I needed to check on Cocoa Puff, who’d seemed a bit off in the morning. After she checked out okay I decided I would grope Wind Storm for a moment as I STILL don't know if she's pregnant. Just as I moved her close to the wall so I could hold her still and feel for some belly movement, I heard a hiss and a thump (though it happened so fast I can't remember in which order) and I looked down to see the biggest rabid anaconda with his orange mouth wide open poised to either kiss me or kill me. I didn't give him the chance to do either. I'm very pro-snake as I know their incredibly beneficial, but having never been struck at before, and with my limited snake experience, it was certainly an appropriate occasion to play the damsel in distress. Though I didn't need to add to the act as my heart at that moment was beating against my chest cavity.
I ran in the house screaming 'get your gloves! There's a monster in the goat house!’ David leapt from the couch. And that was the extent of his rush. Apparently, I’d just startled him as much as my assailant had startled me. And I’m telling you, he couldn't have moved any slower if he were 108 years old. I was running all over the top of him yelling to ‘hurry, hurry, hurry! He’s huge and mean!’
We got out to the goat house and, of course, he didn't have the gloves I'd shoved in his face. He’d decided he could handle the job with a set of ‘grabbers,’ whatever the heck that was. We got into the room I'd left the demonic beast and it wasn't there. David thought his job was complete and he'd weaseled his way out of that eviction.
Oh no, sir! I told him to check the milk room. He went in armed with his grabbers and a feed bag as I pulled goats out of the way. And yep, the snarling snake was hiding under my milk stand. Heart still racing, I was prepared to do nothing more than run for my life if things turned violent.
With an 'oh, shit. He's huge!,' David grabbed the snake. But the snake didn't want to be grabbed and went into wild spasms. And then he slipped out of the grabbers and got away. In complete amazement, I stood on the goat’s favorite rock. What on earth was I supposed to do now? My would be attacker had gotten a good look at me, and now most likely carried a grudge!
We looked all over and couldn’t find him. I’ve decided he’s probably plotting his next attack, out of sight.
I entered the milk room with trepidation this morning. I am typically half asleep, and usually don’t even carry a flash light with me, setting up by the light of the dawn. Well this morning was not a usual morning. I was bright eyed, and had not only had a head lamp on, but my solar light as well. I shone my lights in all directions, both to get a good view of my surroundings, but also to let any possible ill-intentions know I was prepared (to do nothing more than run to the house screaming).
I did catch a whiff of the snake’s musky scent, but I couldn’t tell if that was a phantom scent from my fears, or if it was actually him lurking in a corner reminding me of our encounter.
There have been many snakes around our farm, and most that I’ve seen have been in my goat house. Last year I had a large, sleek garter snake that hung around for about a week before disappearing. This year he was back in early spring, but only for a short time. A few weeks later I was sweeping out a room and as I raised my head, I found myself looking eyeball to eyeball with a pair of honey mooning rat snakes. Once I caught my breath I apologized for disturbing their moment, and I backed away. They left shortly after and I’ve not seen them since.
But this guy was viscous, and I’d prefer to not run into him again.
After some snake identity digging, we determined he was a red-belly water snake. And apparently, it’s not a common finding in our area.
(Picture from the internet. Our guy was sooo not this chill.)