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!