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This is what you get when you mix two toddlers, two border collies, a Shetland pony, two cats, a gaggle of turkeys, a former construction worker, a former lawyer and the family cattle ranch. Thanks for visiting. All images copyrighted. Do not use any text or image without permission.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Tale of Pete, the Stowaway Snake....

Today we drove from Eagle to Norwood and it took forever! First, mommy forgot something and we had to turn around and get it. Then we drove to the Aikman Ranch. Jerry and Grandpa Harry were bringing in the dry cows, so we blocked the road. Then we talked to Grandpa Harry and Frank. Finally, we were on the road.

We drove through Pearl and pretty soon Daddy stopped the car and there was a snake! It was outside Daddy and Alice's windows so we got unstrapped and looked out the window. Daddy got out and got a stick. He tried to catch that snake, but it wasn't a very good stick and the snake got away. It was a black and white stripe snake, kind of medium sized (about 2 feet). Daddy said it was a bull snake.

We drove a little further and we found another snake. Mommy said, "This one is a different color." We got a little closer. It was a brown and yellow snake, about the same length as the first snake, but a lot fatter. Daddy said, "Oh, it's a rattle snake!" Mommy said "Watch out!" Daddy got out and got a little closer to that snake and we got unbuckled and looked through the window. That snake was scared of Daddy and made a sound like "tch tst tch tst" and shook it's tail. That's why they call him a rattlesnake, I guess. He did it again and went and hid under a bush. Daddy went closer and Mommy was scared and said we should go, so we did.

Then, we drove a little further and Daddy thought he ran over a snake. It was on Clyde's side of the car, so we backed up to look out. The snake was OK. This one was a black and white bull snake too, but it was a lot bigger than the first one. It was longer than Daddy's arm (about 4 feet Mommy said)! He was already kind of scared I think because the tire had come so close. He was in a rut in the road kind of coiled a little. Daddy got out and walked around to the snake. He was going to catch it for us to look at so he tried to find a good sagebrush stick, but it just scared that snake. He darted under our car and we didn't see him, but Daddy did. Daddy saw him go up the tire and into the suspension. He could see just the very end of his tail. Mommy opened the hood of the car and Daddy looked inside. He couldn't see that snake anywhere. He poked around and looked under the car. Nothing. Mommy doesn't like snakes and she didn't like having one in her car. She got out and looked too. Nothing. Her car is part electric so it's really quiet. She tried turning on the heater to get the engine going and maybe scare the snake back down. Nothing. Daddy said, "I guess we have a new pet snake, let's call him Pete." Mommy didn't like that but she laughed and said, "Just what we needed." We drove about 20 yards on the bumpy road and then stopped. Nothing. We looked under the hood again. Nothing. We just decided to go ahead.

We drove all the way to Horseshoe Bend and stopped at the convenience store for a drink and snack. While Mommy, Clyde and Alice got drinks and snacks, Daddy looked in the car. Nothing. Mommy looked too when we got back to the car. Nothing. We figured by then either Pete got pinched in the suspension springs, burned somewhere in the engine under the hood, or fell out on the highway. So we drove all the way to Cascade. We pulled off to look at a Bobcat tractor that Daddy wanted to see. Then we drove home to Norwood, but on the way, the police lady pulled us over because Daddy was driving too fast. She didn't give Daddy a ticket but he got a little in trouble.

When we finally got to Norwood it was about two and a half hours since we got Pete. We unloaded the car and Mommy and Daddy started working on building a new fence for our yard. They were measuring and making sure things were straight and they wanted to go see some calf wire in the shop.

When they passed Mommy's car, there was Pete! He was OK! He was really close to the car slithering across the ground toward a big log. I don't think he was very happy to see us. Daddy said, "You better get the camera!" Mommy got the camera while Pete hid under the log. Then we came closer and Pete took off toward the yard. Mommy and Daddy were talking about whether to dispatch him right there, but Pete is a survivor, so they decided to let him live here on the ranch. He's not really supposed to be a mountain snake. The ones that live here are a little different. Daddy caught him gently using a rake and shovel to keep him from biting. Then he held him on the head and body so we could touch him. He was kind of smooth and like leather. He kept winding his tail on Daddy's arm. Daddy walked away with him somewhere by the big ditch.

We hope Pete is happy. We sure had a crazy trip today!

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