Some people say the only good snake is a dead snake. I disagree.
This week some kids found something interesting behind a corner of the building. A member of the staff managed to herd it into a rubbermaid container with a broomstick, a maneuver that, sadly, I did not witness.
Yesterday we took it to a wooded trail on a different part of the island to release it. What an incredibly beautiful animal.
It was just a little thing, maybe twelve or sixteen inches long. Its rattle, with its single button, was vibrating nonstop without producing an audible noise.
How could anyone not admire those beautiful markings? I know enough to admire it from afar, of course, but it doesn’t scare me and I always have to remind myself that some people are really frightened of snakes – some people will kill snakes on sight – because that is so not how my mind works. I love snakes. According to Wikipedia (I know, I know, but the article cited a peer-reviewed journal to back this up), over 40% of snakebite victims put themselves in harm’s way by attempting to capture wild snakes or carelessly handling dangerous pets, and 40% of those had a blood alcohol level of at least 0.1 percent. Venomous snakes don’t deserve their bad rap. They’re only trying to defend themselves from idiots with no common sense.
We released our guy on the trail and watched it crawl away into the palmettos; what looks like such a striking pattern against the solid background of the container blended in seamlessly with the forest floor. I wish it well.