Menagerie: Rogue Snake Department

Judging by the beret, this particular criminal must be French.

Let’s play a little game, shall we?  Why don’t you tell me what species of reptile you see coiled in the leaves in the picture below.  I should mention that the little cretin was, um, what’s the word, “rattling” his tail when discovered.   By “discovered”, of course, I mean “nearly trod upon” during a brief late-morning survey Spouse and I conducted of the western environs of Juniorvania;  tramping about in the brush is a lovely way to spend some time in the warm sun of a mid-November forenoon, cup of tea in hand – provided, of course, that one’s woodsy saunter is not interrupted by pestilential menaces and assorted blackguards of the animal kingdom intent on doing you in.    My perambulations seemed to disturb our most recently discovered visitor, as Spouse advises me that the vicious little scoundrel actually struck at my pant leg as I strode through his immediate vicinity, blissfully unaware of the potentially mortal threat currently attempting to assassinate me.

Let’s make an identification, you amateur herpatologists:  tell me what sort of a beast you think it was that made such a brazen attempt upon my life.   Take a close look at the markings.   Remember, if you will, the rattling of the tail;  it’s difficult to forget, I can assure you, for those who have had occasion to make the personal acquaintance of this little villainous bastard.   The taxonomic process ought to be a little less stressful for you to do in the comfort of your own presumably adder-free home than it was for me during my dangerous, death-defying afternoon stroll among the serpentine assassins concealed around the perimeter of Juniorvania with evil in their repitlian hearts.   It will be easier for you to summon up Google and tap-tap-tap a couple of keystrokes,  possibly noshing on a little snack, as you idly venture a guess about the identity of my would-be killer.

Things were considerably less serene here as we embarked upon the process, I can tell you.  It involved rather a lot more screaming than I suspect most professional biologists employ during the conduct of their work, which screaming was spiced with a liberal dose of anxious profanity.  Still, we managed to get the photo and avoid entirely a trip to hospital, so all’s well that end’s well I suppose.  Except of course that somehow, during the identification process, the pint-sized terrorist managed to flee the scene of the crime and remains at large, a fugitive from Juniorvanian justice.  No doubt the little miscreant is plotting his next murderous escapade, so visitors to these parts should consider security precautions and have an eye to the ground when travelling alone.

He may be small, but he's a criminal.
He may be small, but he's a criminal.
20091122_What Kind of Snake_0796
If you look closely at the bottom of the picture, under the leaf in the middle, you can see the rattling thing on the end of the rattling thing.

By junior

Guitar owner and silly person.


  1. Brought back memories from many years ago when visiting my parents who had moved to a house overlooking the lake in Leamington. My dad and I were strolling around the house when we heard a rattling under some bushes. On examination there were 9 or 10 baby snakes. We gathered them up and took them to the science centre at Point Pelee where the experts advised they were Fox Snakes. We released them at the point to go after whatever they go after but I recall how nervous we were gathering them up and can understand how you felt.

  2. “…GATHERED THEM UP…”???

    Like, in your hands? You must have been much more certain that science wouldn’t lie to you than I was! I knew at the time that rattlesnakes aren’t indigenous to the area (in the back of my mind, I [wrongly] suspected that my assailant was a fox snake, actually), and I even had a vague recollection that in Ontario, rattlesnake bites are only very rarely fatal, but I can’t think of a single thing you could have said to me that would have convinced me to pick that little sucker up off the ground.

    It does come as quite a surprise to find you have these sorts of neighbours, doesn’t it?

  3. Yes it was a surprise and I can assure you NOT IN MY HANDS. As recall a shovel and broom were used and the little suckers were dumped in a container with a lid (a very secure lid) for the 10 minute drive to the point.

Comments are closed.