Monday, October 3, 2011

Another close call

On our latest camping trip….  As soon as we arrived, my oldest son jumped out of the car and ran quickly to our campsite to start exploring.  All of the sudden, he went from running excitedly to stopping dead in his tracks.   We weren’t sure why until he ran back to us and informed us that he had almost stepped on a snake.  Here is a picture of the “welcome committee” that greeted our son with a venomous smile! 
The snake at our campsite- alive and well

Thankfully, our slithery little friend showed no sign of aggression.  It also showed no sign of fear, and did not even flinch when my husband stood far away and threw sticks at it in the hopes of spooking it and sending it slinking back off into the woods.   Instead, the snake sat unfazed basking in the sun and “standing” his ground.  I, meanwhile, looked for the number of a park ranger who could come and help us out, while the children huddled fearfully in the back of the van next to all the yet unpacked camping gear.  All the children except for my oldest son, that is.   He stood on the picnic table nearby and watched his father continue to battle the snake.  My husband, armed with nothing more than a few sticks and logs, which he threw repeatedly at the snake, finally triumphed.   It was not until the poor reptile was already gravely injured, that it shook its tail warningly and reared up, opening its mouth to show sharp little fangs and hissing loudly.  A few more direct hits from the big campfire log and there was no more hissing, no more tail shaking, no more chance of danger.  Then, we were able to commence with the camping.   When we finally caught up with the park ranger and showed him the picture I had taken, he informed us that what we had seen was a pygmy rattlesnake.  I shudder to think what could have happened, and just thank God my son wasn’t bitten.  
Smashed under a log, no longer a threat to anyone
My son pointing out a picture of the snake he saw.
    This was not the first time he has had a close call in life.  My now ten year old son was born with his umbilical cord tied in a knot and wrapped around his neck.  It was at that moment, I figured he had not one guardian angel, but a whole army of them, all watching out for him, and somehow, keeping him safe. 
    At about 9 months old, he scaled a book case in the family room.  The shelves were the adjustable kind that just sort of sit on the case, not firmly attached, and the top one tipped up knocking my baby boy to the floor and dumping an entire shelf full of heavy books on him.  I was terrified.  He was fine.  So fine, that he was back to climbing up the book case almost as soon as I had put everything back together again. 
    At about 2 years old, he refused to go home with me and his sisters after a little walk around the block.  I tried that old, “If you won‘t come, I‘ll just have to leave without you” trick and I walked slooooooowly off, assuming he would follow as soon as he realized I was serious.  I was only about one house away when I glanced back to check on him.  He was standing on the sidewalk at the end of a driveway not paying any attention to me or anything else, when I noticed a minivan in the driveway starting to back up to leave.  Just before I was able to scream in terror, the driver happened to look back and somehow, though it doesn’t seem possible, see that short little toddler in the rear view mirror.  Once again, I was traumatized, my son was completely unscathed.  Needless to say, I have never tried that trick again!
    Leading up to the rattlesnake encounter, there have been other, thankfully less dramatic, moments too.  I’m thinking God must have some pretty big plans for this kid.  Plans that must surely require a lot of courage on my son’s part, a lot of trust on mine, and a whole lot of overtime on the part of the legion of angels watching over him!


  1. Great stories, I bet he's seen his angel! (feast of Guardian Angels was on Sunday!!)

    Oh, that snake give me the creeps....glad you didn't see anymore!!

  2. Can I just say that I'm glad I wasn't the one to run into that snake!! That would have freaked me out so much so...that we'd be heading home! An outdoorsman I am NOT!

    BTW....I have one of those fearless children and I do believe you are right...she has more than one angel watching over her!

  3. Hi Kari, your son reminds me of my second son. Some children seem to attract danger and they get into all kinds of scrapes but somehow they survive! Yes, definitely their guardian angels are working overtime!

    I loved your snake story. We have different snakes to you. We once had a copperhead snake (poisonous) living under our garage. When the snake emerged and curled up on our garden path right in our way, I called the wildlife ranger who told us to ignore it as it wouldn't harm us unless provoked. I wasn't sure about this advice but as it is illegal to kill native reptiles here, I had no choice but to do this. The ranger turned out to be right. We lived quite happily with the snake for a few years.



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