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Posted: 5/31/2002 9:11:42 AM EST
This happened to me.....
When I was little and just beginning to read, the one thing I tried to read each month was the article in Dad's Outdoor Life Magazine titled "This Happened to Me". It was a one page column with about 5 cartoon like boxes where brief descriptions and artist renditions preceded to tell a life threatening story. There would be tales of encounters with Grizzly Bears, Mountain Lions, and rabid Beavers. I loved that column and although me and my best friend had many adventures when we were younger, I never thought I had anything worthy to submit until now (Not really). This is my story...
My wife and I have an 8 month old daughter. I get off at 4:00pm and my wife doesn't get home until 6:30pm so she delivers our daughter to daycare and I pick her up. For 2 1/2 hours every weekday we have Daddy time. This has been an experience in itself for her and me. I never have been around babies much before and until we were blessed with the birth of my daughter I had convinced myself I didn't like children. Now I realize its the parents of these children I shouldn't have liked.
Anyway, last Tuesday she was very fussy, teething, and It was hard to keep her happy. We had already played with every toy in the house twice and I was running out of options. It was at this time my father came buy to see "His Girl". It is amazing the change that takes place in your parents when they have Grandchildren. He didn't see me half as much as he sees my daughter. Now my Father and I decide to walk outside with the baby, haven't tried that yet, and survey the ranch (.56 acres)! We walk behind my boat shed and he sits down on my 4wheeler with the baby and bounces making vroom vroom noises. (I bet he never did that with me!) She loves it! At this point my father has to go home (hay to haul) and again leaves me with a fussy child. Hang with me guys this is about to get interesting.
I figure the Baby would like to actually ride on the 4 wheeler so I get a wet towel and clean all the pollen off the seat (so my wife doesn't fuss about her being dirty) and gas tank, put her on my knee, crank her up and take off. (Only going about 3mph) We drive around my house once and my Girl is having a ball. On the second lap, she is getting heavy so I set her on the seat in front of me letting her straddle the seat just like me. Suddenly she starts crying. I look down because I think I am probably mashing her foot or it got on something hot. When I look down, all I see is snake. I see the huge girth of a snake's body coming from the engine compartment and disappearing under my front rack. I don't see head or tail just snake. Where's the head? Did he bite the baby?
Where did he come from? All these thoughts came at light speed while I simultaneously came off the back of the 4 wheeler while still holding the baby.
Now anyone who has ever ridden an older 4 wheeler before knows your left foot is UNDER the clutch when changing gears so while my body is coming off the back of the 4 wheeler my foot is staying under the clutch. It finally gives but not before my knee pops. Some how I land without falling, still holding my daughter and the 4 wheeler is still moving. It finally coasts to a stop and I limp up to take a look. There is a black snake sticking out about a foot in front of my 4 wheeler. He came out of the engine compartment, up my fender, under the front rack and was holding his head a good 12" in front of the 4 wheeler. I run in the house and put the baby in her crib, slightly relieved knowing it is only a black snake, and run back to the 4 wheeler grabbing a hoe on the way.
If I didn't live in town, I swear I would have shot the snake, 4 wheeler and all. Instead I brought down the hoe head with all my might, breaking the snake's back and chipping the paint on my 4 wheeler rack. On the ground I chopped him several more times just to make me feel better. The black snake was 71" long and had as big a girth as I have ever seen.
I then ran in the house, stripped the baby, and checked her head to toe for horseshoe impressions. I assume she wasn't' bitten because I didn't find any, but I don't know why she started crying.
About this time my wife comes home and telling her about my ordeal was the worst part of it. I don't think she wants me riding the baby anytime soon. I don't know if I want to ride anytime soon. It's a good laugh now, but at the time my adrenaline was pumped. Oh by the way, Dr. thinks I tore my ACL when I fell off the 4 wheeler. I have been walking with a limp and pain ever since.
I still can't believe that snake stayed in that 4 wheeler while my Father was bouncing on it and while I was cleaning it off. I guess he finally came out of the engine compartment when it got hot. I usually don't fear snakes, but I don't want one sneaking up on me either! As my Grandpa said, a snake usually won't hurt you, but they will sure make you hurt yourself! I still can't believe that snake stayed in that 4 wheeler while my Father was bouncing on it and while I was cleaning it off. Oh well, not exactly a Grizzly Bear but it did scare the #@%* out of me!
What the hell happened!!
Ed: just caught the rest, scary shit! Snakes here are like night crawlers, but scares the crap out of people!
I'm not sure they'll print the "scared the #@%* out of me!" part, but I'd send it in.
If by "a black snake" you mean a "Black snake" you just killed the best friend you got from the animal kingdom. Not only do they eat pesky insects, they actually eat poisonous snakes.
That said, I did it too. Had a Black snake fall out of the attic on the floor in front of me while I was pulling down the attic stairs. Shot it a few times with the pellet gun right in the house. Right AFTER changing my boxer shorts [BD]
I guess it all goes back to that pesky snake in the Garden that's the source of all our problems today. If you kill a few "good" snakes, its the fault of the "bad" snakes (kinda like it is with Arabs and terrorists.[}:D] )
Im glad the baby wasnt hurt! I bet the snake was pretty upset too. When I was in grad school, my professor comes running into the classroom screaming her head off about a huge snake in her car. We look out the window and its in the middle of the street with the door open and the engine still running. My buddy and I offered to take care of the problem for extra credit. We pulled the car into a spot and went over it inch by inch. We found a little garter snake about 12-14 inches long! We put it into a box and brought it up to class. Amazing the reaction that one little snake can generate.
As my Grandpa said, a snake usually won't hurt you, but they will sure make you hurt yourself!
A wise man. Glad to hear your daughter is ok, and glad to hear that she likes the ATV. I helped raise serveral relative's children. Most of them were terrified of noise and vibration. I think it's a good sign that she trusts you enough to feel comfortable around something that could be scary.z
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