A contribution by Kenny Lewis
As Ronnie has mentioned, we lived on 65 acres of the roughest country that Bull Creek had to offer. Suitable for our little Angora goat herd, a few Shetlands, Tarbaby, a little Jersey cow named Crickett and Rattlesnakes.
It never failed that when I got the urge to ride (which was usually daily) the horse I wanted to use was always in the back of the pasture. So, I took off with a halter in one hand and a small feed bucket in the other. Sure enough Shorty (a 31” paint Shetland) and Tarbaby were in the very back. After a few minutes of coaxing Shorty by only feeding Tarbaby, he was pushing his way in to get to the feed. Mission accomplished, Shorty was caught.
We headed back to the house to get the saddle. As we approached the top of a large hill, Shorty put the brakes on. With both ears perked forward, I looked at him and he was staring straight at two huge rattle snakes. To this day I’m still not sure if the were fighting or mating. They would rare up with half their body in the air, dance back and forth, rap around each other and fall over. I watched this happened 2 or 3 times. I had to abandon Shorty at that point. In order to get to the house I had to pass by the snakes and neither he nor Tarbaby were going for that idea. I took off running as fast as I could.
Busting thru the back door, I reported my findings to Dad and insisted he go shoot them. He said there was no way they would be there when we got back. After a few minutes of pleading, he gathered up a 22 rifle and a single bullet, obviously convinced the walk was going to be for nothing. Sure enough, when we got there the snakes were almost in the same exact spot, still performing their Cobra like ritual. Cec realizing he had made a bad choice of firearms gave me orders to go back to the house and bring the 410 shotgun and a box of shells. Back to the house I went as fast as I could run. About halfway I heard the 22 rifle go off. A part of me wanted to turn around, but it was always a good idea to follow Cecil Lewis’ orders to the letter. On to the house I went. As I got back to the top of the hill, there the snakes lay dead. He had waited for them to rear up, lock bodies and shot both thru the head with that single 22 bullet. I wish I could find the pictures we took of us holding them up that day. One was 6 feet long the other 6’ 1’’ long. Huge Rattlesnakes!
What Kenny failed to mention, was there were more copperheads than rattlesnakes on that 65 acres. They gave no warning as did the rattlers.
How we lived there for 7 years without getting bit by a snake is beyond my understanding.