Wednesday, June 22, 2011

More than a mouthful....

You'll have to use your imagination on this post!  There was simply too much going on for me to run back to the house and get the camera.  It started with this post from NCMW's Mountain Musings.  It's all your fault, Carolyn!
When I read that headline I knew EXACTLY what was going on without even reading the post!  And shivers danced on my back.  It's a great post and I encourage you not to miss it!
Within a day of that post, we had one of those long, slithery "hoses" in our chicken coop, sitting in the hen's nest, feasting on eggs (or mostly),  as is normally the case at least once, if not more often, during the summer season. 

We go through the same drill, with Elora yelling for MM:  "SSSSSNNNNNAAAAKKKEE!"  and MM, dutifully coming to her rescue.  He plucks the tool from the wall, spends a few minutes lassooing the culprit with it as the snake disgorges its perceived meal back into the hen's nest, and MM emerges from the chicken coop, with the thing writhing, and coiling and uncoiling on MM's arm, while Elora stands well away.  No, it's not poisonous.  Just that I am not a snake person.  Putting it mildly. 
So, no camera this time.  But, here's the tool:   it's called a "twitch."  Customarily, it's used on pigs.  The steel cable is tightened around the pig's snout, a very sensitive piece of their anatomy, and the theory goes that one is able to move even large hogs, using this device.  We bought this one at one of the wonderful old hardware stores that have everything a farmer's heart could desire, over in Floyd County VA.  

While we haven't used it on pigs, it makes an ideal snake handling tool.  MM --steady heart and hand--opens the noose and slips it over the intruding snake.  Tightens it, and moves the snake to the Back 40.  Which is precisely what he did, with one interesting twist:  we keep a 60 watt lightbulb in one nest...kind of like the old China egg, if you can remember those.  It gives the chickens a goal to work toward. 

Well, the snake was in the process of swallowing the light bulb, small end first, and MM had a heck of a time getting it to let go of the bulb so he could slip the twitch over its head and down it's body.  And it was no small lightbulb, either!

Wonders never cease!  Wish I'd gotten a photo of it.  Probably won't ever get another photographic opportunity like that!
 BTW, thank you, Blogger! 


  1. OMG! I've got to get me one of those hooks. I cannot begin to imagine what it would be like to have the snake in the process of eating a light bulb although I once caught one with half a toad hanging from its mouth. Both of us laugh about our little phobias. As my husband said, "I'll take care of the spiders and you can take care of the snakes."

  2. Oh my...what a great story, Elora! Thank goodness y'all caught the snake before he "ate" the light bulb---who knows what it might have done to him. I guess he must have thought he'd found the ultimate big egg!:-)

  3. We had the same thing happen years ago -- only it was one of those big flared out heat lamp bulbs.

    Snakes really aren't very smart.