Uninvited Dinner Guest

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We invited some wonderful friends over for dinner last night.

After they arrived, the Big Bison’s hunting buddy asked him if he would show him the fateful spot where my husband was splitting wood the afternoon he had his heart attack. Deacon D. Dawg walked out to the wood pile with them, and, as is his habit, he hauled a great big piece of firewood back to the house in his jaws, just to show off his Mad Retriever Skillz.

Is this boy proud or what? How about them ears???

We think that little walk might have been what stirred up the trouble.

They might have trespassed onto what something else viewed as its territory.

Because, otherwise, there’s really no accounting for what happened next.

During their little walk to the woodpile, the other guests arrived, and so everyone came inside, and we did introductions for those who were unacquainted, and we were just about to put the food on the table, when, from behind me, I heard my husband’s hunting buddy make a loud, kind of high-ish pitched noise that sounded like this:


Now, this guy’s a pretty tough guy, and, in general, not prone to making girly sounding noises, and so I thought, “This must be something significant for him to make a sound like that. I better check it out.” And I quickly turned and went to the kitchen door where he was standing, looking outside. And saw this:

The uninvited guest. 
Note the triangular shaped head.
What you may not realize that you’re seeing in that picture is the rattle at the end of his tail.
Which he began shaking violently.
The women at the door all shrieked. 
SnakyBoy stared us down malevolently.
For five minutes.
The noise of his rattle was so loud, at first, I thought it was cicadas. Till he stopped rattling for a moment. And then resumed. 
We were held hostage.
Did you know it’s against the law to kill a snake of any kind in the state of TN?
At this point, the book that comes to mind is that horrific monstrosity by O.J. Simpson, entitled “If I Did It”.
So, I’m not going to tell you exactly how my story ended.
Two of our guests are authoring a wild game cookbook, and I will tell you that I did NOT come up with an impromptu recipe last night for rattlesnake. Maybe I missed a serendipitous moment. I don’t know.
But I WILL say that my husband is a man among men, a mighty man, whom I love more than I could ever possibly say, and whom I trust to protect me, as we live our Wild Life in the Woods, amongst the wildlife in the woods.
I will also say that it’s hard to get two hunting buddies together, present them with an aggressive, fat, 4 foot venomous snake, and not come up with a creative and effective solution for how to handle the problem.
And that, honestly, if you’d been in my kitchen, held hostage, after business hours, would you really have wanted SnakyBoy to wander away from the porch? Because…you know…at some point….you have to get to your car to high tail it outta here.


  1. Kristi R. (Bibliowyrm) says

    You do live an exciting life with wildlife. I am glad Deacon didn’t retrieve him!

  2. I tell you what, Kristi!!! He would have been dead: there’s not a doubt in my mind. That snake meant business.

  3. Julia (Jmmom) says

    I love the OJ line…it really did make me laugh out loud!!

    As I said before…that is one nasty looking snake, and I’m grateful it didn’t show up when I was there.

    And that is one stupid law.

  4. Could not agree more, Julia.

  5. Against the law to kill a snake??? That is absurd!

  6. Well…you know that…and I know that…but I’m guessing the guys who wrote that law had never had a fat 4 ft. Timber Rattler striking at their kitchen door.

  7. Oh my goodness! I hate snakes. I’m glad you had two hunters on hand to solve the problem and remove the threat. I’m just going to think that you captured him in a box and released him back into the wild, a la Born Free.

  8. Go with that thought. 😀

  9. I really really really really REALLY hate snakes. Really. Can’t wait to see you so I can find out the end of the story 🙂

  10. I’ll betcha I hate ’em as much as you do!

  11. We don’t have snakes in Ireland – and I’m very glad!

  12. OJ Simpson, If I Did Do It …. LOL funny!

    Imagine the Bison as Elmer Fudd “Shhhhh … I’m hunting wattlers ..”

    Living the Wild Life amongst the wildlife. Love your stories.

  13. JanMary: I’m very jealous!

  14. The Big Bison is a mighty hunter indeed, Rob! He’s the guy you want with you in a dangerous situation.

  15. Ahhhhhh! Thats what I said just from looking at the pictute!

  16. Hi Susan,
    omg i can’t believe that picture… i would have DIED~ we had 4 snakes in our house last year and they were little garden snakes but yuck… i’m surprised you didn’t hear me scream when i saw them!! hope you are doing great!
    Shelley 🙂

  17. OMG!! What an amazing post! Yikes and death to mr snakey is all I would have voted, law or no.


  19. If I get some rattlesnake jerky in the mail, I will know what really happened. Otherwise, I will assume he is slithering somewhere else by now!

  20. What happens in the wild, stays in the wild! ;o)

  21. Ick ick ick! Ya know, I’m not afraid of much, but I reallyreallyreally don’t like snakes. Especially ticked rattlers! I’m glad you’re all safe & the rattler found a “new home”! 🙂

  22. I missed my chance to cook rattlesnake, too.

    A few years ago, now, my husband was with his father, when his father had an almost too close encounter with a rattlesnake.

    They did not bring the meat home to me though, because my husband knew I would cook it, and he didn’t want to eat it.


    I thought deep frying a rattlesnake sounded like such fun, too.

  23. Ahhhh!!! That would scare me to death. I just got back from Arizona where they have a rattlesnake bridge in Tucson. That was enough to freak me out. I cannot believe it is against the law to kill a snake in TN! So glad you are okay!

  24. Oh my goodness! I handle most wildlife with aplomb, but snakes give me the heebie jeebies! That one looks particularly mean and nasty.

    We killed a water moccasin in our yard a couple of years ago and our neighbor came over and scolded us because it was against the law. We had never heard that!

    Good thing your neighbors aren’t too near…not that you killed or anything.

  25. <<<>>>>

  26. i’m asuming thatpic was taken through the door or with a big freakin zoom lens. mind you if i find one of the common and non-venomous snakes around our yard i’ll pick it up and sort of enjoy it for a while. but the rattlers, oh heck no! keepin my distance from them!

  27. Ick! Ick! Ick! There are snakes somewhere in Connecticut, but thankfully, they’d have to cross a lot of busy roads to get to me.

  28. Oh, Susan, ACK!!!
    And now I have Peter laying on my floor saying, “That snake is as lonas me!” And that is a horrifying thought!

  29. I just started breathing again because I was holding it the whole time I was reading this entry!
    Wow, that really freaked me out. Glad a solution was found and hurray for men who know how to hunt, and solve these sort of problems!

  30. Oh well… screw that particular law. It’s illegal to kill a person but if you need to, to protect yourself, so be it. I’m very glad you’re all safe. What a scary experience.

  31. Thought of you and this post last week when I got all excited at seeing a six/eight inch long tiny snake. Adders aren’t very dangerous although venomous and are definitely more scared of you etc.

  32. Oh my gosh! I hate, hate snakes especially that kind! I actually think about living in Ireland. Do you think that legend is true. What a blogger you are, photos and evey thing. Against the law in TN??? What??? Guess I’ve been away too long.

  33. OK the snake was totally creepy, but my first was not to you guys behind the glass door (THANK GOODNESS for doors) but to your dog. I am so glad Deacon Dawg did not get bit.

    And now that I think about it – that was one pissed off snake that he would make his way up the stairs and shake his rattler at you guys.

    So glad he is gone!

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