A Cowboy’s Faith: Snake unappreciated rancho visitor – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: Snake unappreciated rancho visitor

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“There’s a snake eating the sliced apple on the kitchen cabinet.”

Don’t think that doesn’t make hair on the neck cringe. Charging toward the varmint not really knowing what was going to happen, it almost instantly slithered behind the refrigerator.

Snakes are friends of very few, yet not that uncommon on ranches. Still it’s the first time in half-century one came into the home.

Actually a day earlier, the three-quarter-inch diameter, more-less 18-inches long reptile showed up in the mudroom. As show halter with shank was hung on the doorknob, that scaly creature appeared similar to the leather lead. Attempted stomp at the swishing-tongued head missed as bright-eyed serpent squirmed under the storage shelf. Closely watching for reappearance nothing was seen again with hopeful assumption basement was invisibly-moved destination.

Then vermin reappeared the next day in the kitchen only to disappear, despite flashlight and yardstick prods to locate. Hardware store snake deterrent was spread around outside perimeter of the ranch house.

Restless sleep visions were that the snake might wiggle into bed for coziness. That didn’t happen unless curling was unnoticeable. Next midday, the snake slinked from the office down the hallway to “demise” from the mate’s hard striking barn stick. It was thrown outside the back step, so rainfall washed away smashed head blood while barn cats kept their distance. Better there than crawling inside a wannabe cowboy’s jean leg when doing office work.

Unofficial identification was young blacksnake rather than suspected garter snake.

Reiterating, snakes have sometimes been seen in the barnyard through the decades, but not recently. The fat yellow tomcat, Fluffy, and his infertile girlfriend, Lioness, get credit for keeping the intruders away.

Certain occasions, big long blacksnakes have shown up in horse stalls and creeping across the barnyard without horses’ alarm. The eerie crawlers have even been seen hanging on the fence. Although certain opinions express what good snakes can do, a sharp hoe put those to end when possible.

It’s been years now, but rattlesnakes used to be fairly common in the hayfield. Finding one under a square bale dropped behind the baler was not unusual, although complete respect was always given. Water snakes in fishing holes never have caused much concern.

Reminded of Psalm 91:12: “He ordered angels to guard you against harm among serpents wherever they are.”

030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.

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