Yes Tamara, that is a great story. That's the kind of thing that made me say this earlier, which is so obviously true it could be called a tautology (since there's some side discussion of logic, not to say rhetoric):
People are funny about snakes, especially venomous ones.
But not always, and I have a counter-point story to Tamara's. I have probably told it here before, because it really sticks with me. I'll share it again, because it provides a lesson in making assumptions about people, their character and their intentions.
I - along with 2 long-time, but now departed FHF members - was cruising a loop a little ways south of Weatherford Texas about 15 years ago - an interesting ecotonal region where plains and eastern-deciduous faunas meet. I was there specifically because I wanted to harvest a pair of the lovely
broad-banded copperheads known from that locality. I think at the point this story begins that night, I'd made a loop or two and already had my female bagged, and was still looking for my male.
Suddenly, a (just one) pickup truck materialized. Since it was obvious to me that I was the focus of their attention, I pulled over and said "Hi fellas! What can I do for you?"
This truck too was full of suspicious locals. (And surel
y there were firearms, it would be much more remarkable if there weren't. Since I don't remember anything about firearms, I assume they were there, but they're forgettable since they weren't pointed at me.) I do recall
there was a cooler full of beer, and also chairs or a couch, in the pickup's bed. God I love Texas.
Similar to the crackhead explanation Tamara got, this group's leader told me "we've had a lot of break-ins lately, we're checking you out because we thought you might be the bad guy". I assured the group "I ain't the one!" and explained what I really was. I showed them my sweet plump glorious orange, musky little laticinctus in a bag, by way of proof.
To my amazement and eternal happiness, they all had a look in the sack and congratulated me on "hey, a pretty good one". (Holy Smokes, right?!?!) I was then invited to come back and flip debris on their residential properties
, which they assured me "almost certainly right now" had some more examples of what I was after (and which they had no interest in killing, driving away, etc - but which they were willing to share with me, within reasonable limits). I didn't take them up on the morning flip for their yard coppers, but I did take them up on their offer to do a lap of their neighborhood loop road. I jumped in back and had a beer with them, and went for a spin and a snake-chat. Great folks, beautiful country.
(I did get my male later that night, unfortunately not with those local boys, it was after we parted ways. He was nowhere near as good as that female. She was smokin'.)
Anyway, I thought such a counterpoint would be a nice way to close my commentary on snake relocation, irrational fears, etc.