A close call where I dodged a bullet .when something awful almost happened. Well I have dodged a bullet more than once in my life. But right now I am thinking about the time I let my hatred for Rattlesnakes over ride my common sense.
I use to live in a small Northern California town. Manton sits right under Mt. Lassen. It is a mountain town. Population maybe on a holiday 650. The town runs both sides of a little valley with a good size creek splitting it right down the middle. Well I worked for a lot of people there over the years sort of Jack of all trades. Mostly gardening and landscaping but anything that came along.
One late afternoon I was finishing trimming Rosemary and Rock roses away from the edge of Helen’s pond. I happened to look up and towards the house as Helen came out the back door. There was a cement retaining wall that was about four feet high that ran from the back door to the drive way along the walk way. Apparently a good size rattle snake was laying under a bush on the cement wall. As Helen came out it struck out at her. Helen was a little petite woman not more than five feet tall (if even that). She had been very ill with bone cancer for awhile and was not at all doing well.
The snake missed her and when it landed on the walk way found the only hole in the wood porch to disappear into. Well after the shock of what I had seen wore off I saw red. With out thinking I garbed the half hoe by the tree and ran to the porch. Helen told me later she was yelling at me to stop. She knew how much I hate Rattle snakes. But I never herd her. The only thing I was thinking was kill! kill!kill!
When I got to the porch I opened the trap door on it and under I went. Now under the porch is about 18 inches. Which means I am stretched out on my stomach, on the ground crawling around looking for a five ft. Timber rattler.Yes I was that stupid.
Well of course the snake found me. There was about five minutes of him striking at me and me hacking on him. Somewhere during this time I suddenly realized how really stupid this was. I also thought that the snack was going to win this fight a couple of times. But in the end I killed it. But just a little better aim on his part , or a little slower on my part and it could of bit me very badly. In that confined area and with me on my stomach it could of struck me easily in the face or eyes.