Just Stay Away From the House!
My husband had to do it last evening. He had to kill a snake. I posted just a couple of weeks ago about not understanding why people go out of their way to kill wildlife, especially when it is being helpful.
Unfortunately, last night while grilling on the deck, our dog, Sade, started going wild in the driveway. She was barking, growling and jumping around. When we got up to see what she was carrying on about, she was cautiously circling a very large Rattle snake, that well, didn't seem too rattled over her alarm. Stretched out nearly 4-foot long, the snake froze. My husband got Sade on the deck with the rest of the Fearsome Four, who, by now, had all seen the snake. As they barked, my husband made the decision that the snake had to go. The snake had apparently slithered out from the woodpile next to the driveway and probably lived there. But unlike the Coachwhip Snake we had awed over and watched sunning himself on a tree trunk a few weeks ago, this snake could prove deadly to anyone of us or our dogs. My husband had just finished servicing our truck, lying on the ground not 6 feet from where the snake now stretched itself out. Last summer, I knew a woman who had accidentlly stepped on a Rattle Snake while walking in her driveway at night. She spent the next 3 days in the hospital and the rest of the summer suffering from the effects of the poison.
This snake was just a little too close for comfort and not being snake handlers or knowing a safe way to relocate him, we had to make the decision to shoot it.
At least it was quick.
My husband, as he does when he even kills a fish to eat (that's why we catch and release, as we got tired over arguing who would kill the poor creatures), felt very bad. We try to be conscious of the fact that the wildlife was here before us; and we try to live in harmony with all the critters here. They have a place in the ecosystem and we think it is the highest of human arrogance to think we are the supreme beings on earth.
We continue to hope the wildlife that can be dangerous stay away from the house, just so we don't have to take the us or them stance.
I felt bad for my husband, but the experience gave me a glimpse of the side of him he rarely shows. Like a lot of men, he grew up hunting, but as we grew older, he began to value life more. It made me proud of the fact that he could feel sorry for having to take a life, rather than rejoicing in his kill.
Sometimes people change for the worse through the years, but in this instance, I'm glad there's no trace of the hunter I met 29 years ago this summer.