Super Dead

by GfG on May 17, 2012 · 38 comments

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Yesterday started out with a bang.  Literally.

I had just finished brushing my hair in trying to get geared up for the day, when I hear lots of shouts and running footsteps and Faith comes rushing into my bathroom.

“Princess found a rattlesnake!”

“WHAT!?!  Are you serious?”  Brush clatters to the ground.

“Yes!!  (insert whimper)  Oh, Mama!  It’s a baby and babies are more poisonous!”

I stuff my feet in some shoes and curse myself for not having a pair of real cowboy boots and take off running.  I stop at the front porch.  In the not so far distance, Princess and The Boy are walking slowly, scanning the ground.

“Did you lose it?!”

“Yes, we’re looking for it!”

I pause and ponder: who in their right mind goes looking for a rattlesnake?  who in their right mind goes looking for a rattlesnake without boots?  who in their right mind goes looking for a rattlesnake without boots and without a way of killing the thing?

Clearly… we do.

I join the two children in their search while Faith continues to whimper from the porch and shout, “The babies are more dangerous!  Get away from there!”

I do not pause, but I do ponder: which one of us is handling this correctly, really?  Me or the nine year old?

Each tentative step is filled with dread and excitement and dread and more dread.

After a couple of anxious minutes, Princess shouts, “I found it! I found it!  There it is!”

I turn around to see a snake less than a foot from where I just walked.


I was hoping beyond hope that maybe it wasn’t actually a rattlesnake but some other kind of mimicking snake.  You know, those snakes that try to fool hawks and such by looking a lot like a poisonous snake, but are really harmless wannabes.

I was hoping beyond hope that my wildlife loving and identifying fiends were lacking in their skills that morning.

I was hoping beyond hope that the snake (poisonous… wannabe… whatever) was dead of lovely snake life natural causes.

Those hopes were dashed pretty stinkin instantaneously.

So… there it was… three rattles and all.  Daggnabit!!

Now that we found the nasty bugger what does one do next?  Well… if you’re a mama and your kids walk in that area, you decide that snake needs to meet its demise pretty darn soon.  As in pronto.

Now do any one of us have a weapon?  Nope.  But we have two phones and an iTouch.  So… though we had no plan, we had lots of video footage.  I texted My Sweetie.  And sent a kid for a camera.  Isn’t that what you would have done?  No?  Keep it to yourself.

Naturally, after no response to my growing in panic texts, we called My Sweetie (who for the first time in emergency history is 30 minutes away instead of 3… whatever).  Princess bragged and bragged about finding it (“twice”) and then handed me the phone.

He calmly said, “Is it really a rattlesnake?”


“Are you sure?”

“Yes, honey.  There are three rattles!”

“Ok, well…what do you want to do?”

“I want to kill it.  Pronto.  Dead.  Super dead.”

“Alrighty… here’s what you do…”  He then proceeds to walk his wife through choosing the “right” twenty-two (or .22 for you gun in the know people…aka: Texans), the right bullets, and then…. once she gets back out to the children assigned to keep an eye on the snake (as opposed to the children assigned not to leave the house no matter stinkin what)… he walks her through loading the gun.  While she’s holding a cordless phone.

Four feet from a rattlesnake.


The snake gave up on its “pretend to be a stick and not move and those ridiculous humans will go away” pose

and slithers into the famous “I’m gonna strike and I’m not kidding” under a bush pose. Creepy with a capital C.

Meanwhile the kids have used the iPhone to find matching photos and identified the nasty thing as a Black Tailed Rattlesnake, juvenile.  Greeeat.

Finally, I toss the phone to The Boy (picture if you will Jack Bauer or Davy Crockett…. actually, I might better be described as Elmer Fudd, whatever) and load the little blue bullets.  I cock the gun.  And…

Ok… it gets a little foggy here.  I don’t remember if I got to shoot then or had to reload.  Turns out, while I am not usually an enthusiastic gun person, I am very enthusiastic when a rattlesnake is near my kids – BUT… I really stink at loading a gun with snake shot.  And when I say I stink at it, what I mean is that my kids were laughing their heads off while they watched me try to get bullets loaded.   I kept thinking, “This is not funny!  There is a venomous snake right there and I am hoping no loose bullets!!  Someone could get hurt from that snake or my gun!  Stop laughing people!

But all that came out was, “Why won’t these bullets stay in the right place so I can kill this stinkin snake!!?!!”

Finally, the LORD looked down on me with gun mercy (I lived in Texas long enough to know that exists) and one of the blue beauties found it’s spot and I shot that snake.  Since the thing writhed in agony (yes, we really have all of it on video thankyouverymuch) on its back and then its belly and then its back, you would think I would not worry about shooting again.

Not true.

It was not super dead.

I fought with the ridiculous piece of steel and after picking up bullets out of the dirt again and again, finally got it loaded once more.  I walked right up to the snake and shot it in the head.

Dead.  Super dead.

It wasn’t exactly pronto, but… whatever.

As I sauntered back up to the house with a dead (super dead) rattlesnake hanging off the end of a gun, I beamed with pride.  Pride that almost overshadowed the “Oh, my stinkin’ heck!  I went over twenty years of living in Texas without my kids coming across a rattlesnake!   What in the world!?  Well… guess the kids aren’t leaving the house ever again.  Stinks for them, but that’s how it goes” feeling.  Almost.

But then I thought…

Maybe they’ll all get cowboy boots with steel toes.

Maybe they’ll all carry guns.

Maybe I’ll just carry a gun.

Maybe none of that.

Sigh.  How was your Wednesday morning? 

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Blair @ The Straightened Path May 17, 2012 at 6:06 am

You are my hero. Seriously. I hate snakes more than anything and the thought of one of them finding my children terrifies me. I have never stumbled upon one in all my days but my daughter spots them all the time. Freaks me out I tell ya!


GfG May 17, 2012 at 8:57 am

I’m not grossed out (hello 1980s!) by snakes, if they are harmless. I actually think they are cool.

But… venomous… well, that really sent my blood pressure soaring!


Blair May 18, 2012 at 6:21 am

Love your cute top & skirt by the way!


Megan May 17, 2012 at 6:53 am

That story right there probably made your husband so proud! =) I could just see him bragging about that for years! Welcome to New Mexico!
(also, I am pretty sure those boots would not have stopped the rattlesnakes poisonous venom!)


GfG May 17, 2012 at 8:58 am

He was very, very proud. Calls me Annie Oakley and/or The Snake Killer now.



The Reader May 17, 2012 at 7:43 am

umm, Yikes.

Hopefully that’s the last of ’em.

You handled it beautifully. I think I would have not done quite as well.

Very glad you insisted on Super Dead.


GfG May 17, 2012 at 8:59 am

I’m hoping it was the last we’ll see too, but now I believe a neighbor who told the kids last week “lots of rattlesnakes”. I was counting on him exaggerating. He also mentioned a bear and two mountain lions, so… I think shooting lessons may be in order.


Brooke May 17, 2012 at 8:54 am

Next time you go to town, you have to stop by Home Depot or Lowes and get a hoe with an extra long handle (that is my snake killer of choice). I wonder if your DH was standing next to any of his new co-workers while he talked you through loading the gun. :)


GfG May 17, 2012 at 9:00 am

Exactly! We were all saying, “Dangit! We don’t have a shovel or a hoe!” A fully stuffed garage and no shovel. How shameful.

His co-workers loved it.


Mac May 17, 2012 at 8:59 am

Sounds like you need to get a .22 revolver and some range time.


GfG May 17, 2012 at 9:03 am

I agree. While a hoe will work lots of times, I want to be farther away from a venomous snake. I have little arms. Guns… they have good distance. :-) I’ve never been a big fan of guns, but that rattlesnake just changed my mind.


Jan May 17, 2012 at 9:11 am

Looks like it’s time to purchase cowboy boots…and the hoe with super long handle…as Brooke suggests. Me…I suggest cowboy boots…for protection and fashion.


GfG May 17, 2012 at 11:02 pm

You should give me tips on buying a pair, friend! You know I’ve been wanting some anyway. I think God just gave the go ahead. :-)


becky May 17, 2012 at 10:42 am

You crack me up! Like I told my family in South Texas where snakes are rampant right now, I’m not coming to visit you either until the snakes are hibernating. Get the kids some boots for sure. I had a few close calls with venomous snakes as a kid and I’m terrified of all of them now. I’m sure the kids will be on the lookout now.


GfG May 17, 2012 at 11:02 pm

They are definitely on the look out.

Miss you!


martha May 17, 2012 at 11:23 am

Okay…Wow…You are BRAVE. Truly! The “striking pose” would have creeped me out as well. Glad you have evidence / footage of this adventure. Did you proceed to disect it for science today? Gun safety lessons and cowboy boots are in order.
Hang in there!


GfG May 17, 2012 at 11:25 am

How did you guess? Yup, dissecting today and keeping the rattle for bragging rights. There were arguments over who gets the skin, but Princess won.
So… when are y’all coming go visit? 😉


Sis May 17, 2012 at 12:13 pm

WOW, you are an official ~ snake killin, skillet tossin’, skirt wearin’ Texan! WOW! You did indeed make your hubby proud and your Momma proud, even your sister. Not to mention how dang funny you are! YES, yes I would have sent someone for the camera first, with the gun a quick second too. (or maybe simultaneously?) I laughed many times in that post but imagining you trying to load the gun (unsuccessfully) cracks me up! Being able to picture your kids giggling too is fantastic.
love you!


GfG May 17, 2012 at 11:03 pm

I refuse to show the video because it will kill the comments on me being awesome. 😉

love you too!


Kim Paterka May 17, 2012 at 12:40 pm

This is classic. I love it! You are beyond funny and you need to write a book! Write. a. book. :) And get some cowgirl boots.


Kristin Smith May 17, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Kim is seriously correct. You definitely need to write a book! You are wise, compassionate and funny!


GfG May 17, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Hmmmm interesting! If I ever do, you get the first copy!


Kristin Smith May 17, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Or just carry a metal spatula with you. My sister was a camp counselor at a Girl Scout Camp outside of Houston. She was taking a group of kids through camp to the showers when they met up with a copper head. My sister made her snake dead/really dead by chopping of his head with the spatula. Why she had that with her, I do not know.

Am proud of you. You did great…brave pioneer woman you are! :)


Beth R May 17, 2012 at 12:42 pm

BAHAHAHA! Never get between a Mama and her children! You’ll lose 100% of the time!


GfG May 17, 2012 at 11:05 pm

Ain’t it the truth!


Kristin Smith May 18, 2012 at 9:18 pm



Virginia Floyd May 17, 2012 at 3:56 pm

My Wednesday wasn’t that exciting. We did have some workmen show up with a new door (to replace the one on the patio with the broken glass from when Ed was using the weed eater). It’s too bad they didn’t call first and find out this wasn’t a good day. Ed had a ukelele band performance and I had a ladies luncheon scheduled. But we worked it all out with about one minute to spare.


GfG May 17, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Mrs. Floyd, oh man! While not as dangerous, just as crazy! I bet you handled it much more gracefully than I handled my morning.


Autumn Beck May 17, 2012 at 4:31 pm

I would have PEED in my pants and rolled on the ground in laughter at watching all this occur!!! Man do I need a good laugh these days too. Did they get it ALL on video??


GfG May 17, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Yes, yes, they did.

When you come visit, we’ll show you. :-) Be sure to have Depends on when you watch it.


Teresa in Texas May 17, 2012 at 5:49 pm

I’ve been reading your blog for awhile ~ many of your posts have encouraged me in my homeschooling and parenting, and frankly most of your posts just make me smile and laugh! I always look foward to new postings.

What a great story, what an awesome photo! Indeed, your husband must be quite proud!


GfG May 17, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Teresa- Glad to hear from you! I’m happy I bring a smile to your face. Truly.


Damaris Rodriguez May 17, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Your post are encouraging and hilarious. I can be super tired but I look forward to reading your post too. Well, it looks like I don’t need to worry about rattlesnakes (I pray never) where we live (NJ). My 2 year old son found a worm and we were excited about that 😉 but it’s nothing like finding a rattlesnake. I pray that you and your kids be safe in New Mexico.


GfG May 17, 2012 at 9:28 pm

I’d much rather a worm. 😉

So blessed that I encourage you and make you smile.


AnnetteQ. May 20, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Justso happens we have a pair of red boots, recently out grown by kiddos…may send them your way.


Faith May 22, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Gfg….you are awesome! I’m hearing that ” ‘Cause I’m a WOOOOMAN'” song in my head right now! :APPLAUSE:!!!!!

I have never felt like such an awesome mom as the time I helped my kids dissect, skin, and identify rattlesnake parts on the back porch. I did draw the line at cooking it, though my dh did if for them. You can see why my kids now think living in Washington State is the most boring thing on Earth. The only poisonous *anything* we have is Stinging Nettle.

I would pay money to see the video and I know what shoes you need to buy for ‘If the Shoe Fits’ day. Except that day needs to be shifted to next week. Crocs and Uggs will no longer cut it, babe.

I have a couple of pairs of boots Natalie has grown out of. What size are your littles???


GfG May 22, 2012 at 7:33 pm

So… did you see what we did with the snake the next day? 😉 (The What We’re Learning post shows it)

I’m proud of you for your snake dissection. Thankfully, there was not enough meat in ours. Dodged a bullet on that one.

Oh, boots would be fab! Sizes in the girls: 3, 13, 12.


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