Home » Gate Guarding » Lower Than a Snake’s Belly in a Wagon Rut

Lower Than a Snake’s Belly in a Wagon Rut

Yet another common southern idiom that’s new to me.

I did recently have an experience that sort of resembles it in the most literal sense.

According to Virgil, There’s a snake lurking in the grass. Apparently, that’s not the only place they lurk!

As the temperatures climb in Texas, so do the snakes, or so I’m told.

I have it from a variety of reliable locals that the snake population is now either:

1. sunning themselves

2. seeking shade

3. shimmying up trees

Having heard all 3 stated as absolute fact, I find myself hesitant to wander far from home. I’m continually looking up, down and around; confusing a crop of grasshoppers with a rattle and a stick poised to strike with a viper of some sort.

I know the rule, if the stick moves, it isn’t a stick. It moved but it was still a stick. Must have been a heat hallucination.

Having only seen 2 snakes in 4 months, I was starting to feel a little more relaxed until Miss K reported a 6 foot rattler near their RV last night. As rattlesnakes go, that’s a big snake!

I almost saw a rattlesnake one night.

A couple of the guys caught one.

Everybody knows about my fascination with my new surroundings so they stopped on the way back from town to show me.

The conversation went something like this:

Hey, we just caught a rattlesnake up the road a ways. Want to see it?

Sure, let me just grab my camera.

I go inside, get the camera; the guys wait patiently in their truck.

Where is it?

He’s in the back. Just lift up the hard hat.

OK, maybe these two aren’t crazy about me? I may be a Yankee and a city-slicker, but I know enough not to reach into the back of a pickup truck in the dark and lift up a hard-hat to look for a rattlesnake.

I don’t think so. You lift up the hat.

Both guys get out obligingly.

One of the guys searches for a stick to flip the hat. (and I was supposed to just pick it up?)

The hat flips, the camera is ready. No snake, just a frog.

He must’a spit out the frog we fed him.

The search begins.

Everything in the back that can be lifted with a stick is overturned. The corners are poked.

I brought out a flashlight. We looked for a good 5 minutes (seemed longer).

Can’t find him. Guess he’s hidin’ in the truck somewhere.

Then with complete aplomb, they got back in and drove up to the rig.

I watched until their truck rounded the bend to make sure the  rattlesnake didn’t decide to drop out of the tailpipe.

You couldn’t have paid me to get in that pickup with a rattlesnake looking for a comfy corner.

These are brave men. Crazy men, but still brave.

Another of our guys said he’s trying to catch a rattlesnake and rope him to his trailer door to keep people out. I’m not sure if he meant a dead snake (bad voodoo) or a live one (guard snake).

Not everyone is so fond of snakes.

Indiana Jones was ophidiophobic, so there’s clearly no shame in it.

If you do happen to enjoy snakes, the largest Rattlesnake Roundup in the US is in Freer, Texas at the end of  April.

I won’t be able to get off work, shucks.

But if you go, I’d love to hear about it!

6 thoughts on “Lower Than a Snake’s Belly in a Wagon Rut

  1. Gaush, I am sure a wimp, I vacuum up little black worms that wonder in once in a while this time of year. Guess I would need at least a shop vac to visit, heh? Remember they tease you when they really like you, they must like you a lot! Be on the look out for a ummm bigger jest???

  2. Deb, you have been had by the Rattlesnake under the hat trick. An old one at that. The other version is a rubber band suspened in a box with a stick wound up inside the rubber band. When the box is moved the rubber band comes twisting and the stick bouncing on the sides. Will scare you bad.

    • Well Charlie, you may very well be right. I’m thinking with all this pulling, my legs will get longer if I stay in Texas another year or two!
      When I was telling the other guys(the fellas who kill the pigs outside my window) about the escapee snake, they were indignant. They claimed to have caught him (3 1/2 footer; they also caught a 4 footer but he got away) and said they gave the rattler to first guys and couldn’t believe they lost him!
      Tonight, on their way to town they were once again looking for a snake for Bo, who is not going to hang it on his door after-all. He just wants to tie a rope around it and keep it up at the site.
      I don’t know Charlie, think my Yankeeness is showing? 😀 I’ll keep you posted. The pet tarantula went home a couple of week ago.
      I’ll be sure to keep clear of rubber bands and boxes! Thanks for the heads up!

  3. I received a desparate phone message this morning from Shawn. “I needed you this morning” I am at work before 5:00 am and Shawn goes to work at 7:00. She encountered a snake (garter variety) in the basement. IT had decided to take partial residence in a toy horse trailer belonging to my granddaughter. Not wanting to kill the thing in the house she proudly reports she shuffled it onto the dustpan and threw it outside. I am extremely curious to see if the dustpan and trailer are laying somewhere in the yard when I get home from work today or did she just shuck the snake and move on. Noe I have a problem to solve, where did the lil sucker get in……Mg

    • Mg – They’re slinky little guys aren’t they? Every time I open an underneath bin, I expect to see one napping. When I was little, I used to catch garter snakes in the yard and bring them into the kitchen to show my Mom. Nothing flustered her until the time we were hiking and I picked up a wounder water moccasin. I was restricted to lightening bugs and crickets after that. 🙂 Was the horse still trailer intact when you got home?

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