Snakes Are Our Friends

Snakes are our friends… snakes are our friends…

It would take a lotta repeatin' and repeatin' to get that through most folks' heads. And that's too bad 'cause there are very few poisonous snakes and hundreds of good snakes out there. Snakes help keep the rodents in check (which keeps a little healthy competition goin' for the cats).

Many folks think the only good snake is a dead snake. In fact, some organization once did a study on how much people hate snakes. First, they took a rubber turtle and placed it on the road to watch what drivers would do when they saw it. All the drivers swerved around it to avoid running it over; some even stopped to move it off the road.

Next the study people took a rubber snake and laid it on the road. Well, almost everybody stayed right there in their lane and didn't even try to avoid it. Some folks even stopped and backed up over it a few times. If that don't prove how much people hate snakes, nothin' will. It's sad just how prejudiced folks can be against innocent snakes.

Sure, they can startle the daylights outta someone - bein' so quiet, and slitherin' so fast through the grass… we lived among 'em in Texas at the polo club. They often crossed our paths in the pasture. I remember one time when my person was runnin' out to me through the pasture and suddenly took a big stride - right over a snake crossin' the trail. And another time she dismounted to pick up a PVC pipe (the goalpost piece) outta the grass, and she seemed to be puttin' in a little more effort than usual, when suddenly a big fat 6' long snake poured out at her feet and slithered away. And another time one surprised her and her visitin' mother at the gate. They were used to hearin' us horses, or feelin' our heavy footsteps, and they knew when to get outta the way. When a lightweight, quiet person came along, it was a mutual surprise. Snakes… silent, but not necessarily deadly. The thing is, snakes are more afraid of humans than humans would think. A snake would just as soon hightail it outta there if it can.

So repeat after me, "Snakes are our friends… Snakes are our friends…"

Watch where you step,