|Nerodia rhombifer, Animal courtesy of Austin Reptile Service. Photographer: LA Dawson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
My family lived in a Ranch style house that was in the middle of a bid field. On the ranch were many ponds to water the horses and cattle. There was a large pond in front of our house. We had a long cement porch that reached around the whole house. The bad part about this house was there were three large rooms, but you had to go outside to get to the next room. I am 6 or 7 years old.
One day my mother, my 10-year-old brother, and I were in the living room. I wanted something to drink. I had to go outside and down towards the pond to get to the kitchen. Right there on the porch was a 5 or 6-foot diamondback rattler. The snake was hissing at me. I started yelling. My mother and brother run out to see what was wrong. They see that the snake is way to close to me and it seemed to be charming me. My mother comes up behind me and Paul, my brother, goes around to the other side of the snake. My mother pulls me back while Paul hits the snake with a hoe many times. This causes the snake to lose its head. When my daddy comes home from work, I tell him, “The snake lost his head.” Daddy was glad that we were not hurt and that the snake lost his head.
It seemed to me like at least one time a week I found a snake on the porch. I found diamondbacks and water moccasins. All of the snakes were deadly. Thank God, none of the snakes ever bit me. All of them lost their heads. However, I became scared to go outside by myself. Finally, I refused to go outside by myself. One day, mother checked the porch for snakes. Since there were no snakes, I came outside onto the porch. I started praying. It came to me to ask my mother and daddy to pray with me. We went to church about 4 times a week. That night when daddy got home he asked, “Did any snakes lose their heads today?” I said, “no, but I know how to keep them away.” Daddy then said, “I want to hear this.” I replied, “Help me ask God to please keep the snakes away. Even though my daddy was studying to be a preacher, everyone including him, laughed at me. This made me feel very bad.
The next day I went outside by myself to talk with God. I walked the porch and all around the yard. I told God, “Please help me. Show them you will keep the snakes away from me, the house, and the yard.” My family lived there for another 4 years. No one found another snake in the yard. However, many snakes were found on the other side of the fence and in the pond. The owner of the land finally had to get a group together to go kill the snakes that were in an around the pond that the cows drank from.
Daddy told the owner that I had been finding a lot of snakes in the yard, but lately none had been seen. The owner of the house and land said, “I wonder why?” I spoke up, “I know why. I talked to God and asked him to keep the snakes away from me and my play yard.” This time no one made fun of me.